Special correspondent

Research needed to analyse causes for sea erosion

Crores of rupees spent on coastal protection measures

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister for Irrigation and Water Resources N.K. Premachandran has stressed the need for an environment auditing system to assess the impact of beach-sand-mining in Kerala.

Delivering the inaugural address at an international workshop on ‘Fluvial and marine processes of cenozoic and formation of placers’ organised by the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) here on Thursday, he called for a scientific investigation into the causes for the increasing coastal erosion in the State.

“The damage caused by erosion is going up every year all along the 600 km coastline, forcing the Government to spend crores of rupees on coastal protection measures and protection of vulnerable communities.

The rise in sea level, the after effects of the tsunami and the increase in wave power are cited as the reasons. There are also fears that the erosion is triggered by beach-sand-mining. Only a detailed research will reveal the factors responsible for the phenomenon,” Mr. Premachandran said.

Vast resources

The Minister proposed the setting up of an institute dedicated to promoting the judicious use of the vast resources of beach-sand-minerals such as monazite, ilmenite and zircon found in Kerala. “Understanding the processes responsible for the formation of placer minerals is important to ensure their sustainable exploitation,” he said. Presiding over the function, Executive Vice-President of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) E.P. Yesodharan said the council was planning a centre for nanotechnology in application of mineral wealth.

Director of CESS M. Baba, Director, Department of Science and Technology M. Prithviraj and IGCP (International Geoscience Programme) project leader N.G. Patyk-Kara were among those who addressed the inaugural function.

The workshop is part of the IGCP, a cooperative enterprise of UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

It is aimed at promoting a better understanding of the geological events responsible for the formation of minerals in palaeo channels and onshore and offshore areas.

Delegates attending the workshop will also participate in a field tour.