GSI Director-General promises to help get geoheritage site status for unique geological formation
The Geological Survey of India would help get the famed Erramatti Dibbalu near Visakhapatnam recognised as a geoheritage site, Director-General of GSI A. Sundarmoorthy said on Thursday.
Speaking at the inaugural of the two-day national workshop and brainstorming session on ‘Geoheritage – need for an Indian activism’ jointly organised by the Andhra University Department of Geology, Geological Survey of India, and INTACH here, he said the GSI was identifying and maintaining such unique geological sites.
So far, the GSI has identified 25 sites across India, three of them being in the State. “India does not have laws to protect geological heritage sites. The issue came to the fore when activists from the region took up a campaign to protect the unique geological feature of red sand dunes – Erramatti Dibbalu – here,” convener of the workshop and professor in AU Department of Geology D. Rajasekhar Reddy said.
A draft of the laws was drawn up by former Union Secretary E.A.S. Sarma. “This is now being discussed by different experts and would later be submitted to the government,” he added.
Stressing the importance of geological heritage of different formations, INTACH convener for AP and former bureaucrat M. Gopalakrishna said the State had a number of unique geological formations such as the Arunachala Hill in Tirumala, which perhaps was the oldest stone on earth. The Silatoranam – a natural arch – on the Tirumala Hills, which weathered millions of years, was a unique geological formation that needed to be preserved for generations to come, he pointed out. He congratulated the AU for organising such a workshop.
Earth scientists should harness the developments in ICT to strengthen their research and work in identifying and protecting the heritage sites, AU Vice-Chancellor G.S.N. Raju said. The delegates from across the country are scheduled to tour some of the geological heritage sites in and around the city.
District Collector V. Sheshadri, principal of AU Science College V. Veeraiah, and Head of Department of Geology Vinod Rao spoke.