R. Vimal Kumar

Adam's Bridge, "only a geological phenomenon"

Tuticorin: Adam's Bridge is not a man made structure rather it's a geological phenomenon, according to N. Ramanujam, Head, Post Graduate Department of Geology and Research Centre, V.O. Chidambaram College, here.

He was reacting to both political and apolitical statements made by different sections , relating Adam's Bridge to the epic "Ramayana."

Speaking to The Hindu here on Friday, he said that Adam's Bridge is only a chain of shoals between the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar, created by sedimentation owing to long shore currents.

Explaining the bridge's geological history, he said both the Palk Strait and the GoM were once part of the Cauvery basin, which was formed during the separation of India and Antarctica about 70 million years ago during the `Gondwana period.'

They were combined till a ridge was formed in the region owing to thinning of earth's crust. The development of this ridge augmented the coral growth in the region.

"The coral cover acted as a `sand trapper' leading to the formation of Rameswaram Island," Dr. Ramanujam said.

The long shore currents on the southern side of island created a discontinuous shoreline eastward from Dhanuskodi to Talaimannar, which's the Adam's Bridge.

He dispelled the fears of a few environmentalists and non-governmental organisations that destruction of Adam's Bridge to facilitate the implementation of Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) would create geological imbalance in the region.

"Considering that Adam's Bridge is just sedimentary deposits, its removal will not create any geological imbalance," he said.

Dr. Ramanujam ruled out any impact of the SSCP on the fragile eco-system in the GoM.

"Since the dredging was mainly carried out in Palk Strait, which was far away from the valued environmental assets in the GoM biosphere's buffer zone, coral reef eco system will not be affected," he said.

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