Now cracks develop on the earth near Lucknow

June 17th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 17 (IANS) The formation of cracks on the earth continues to affect various districts of Uttar Pradesh and two villages near Lucknow are the latest to witness long fissures on the surface. Fields in Kakori block’s two villages, Dullu Khera and Vader Khera, about 10 km from Lucknow, have developed wide cracks up to 250 metre long, officials said.

The villagers said formation of cracks started Sunday. “The phenomenon started with soil erosion. Initially, the top layer of soil got displaced following the week-long rains. And later, Monday we noticed that the cracks widened in length as well as depth,” Vinod Kumar, a gram panchayat member, told IANS Tuesday.

Besides the villages in Lucknow district, six districts of Uttar Pradesh have been witnessing this phenomenon for about a week.

Concerned over the incidents, UP Chief Minister Mayawati has convened a meeting of experts from Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, Geological Survey of India (GSI), groundwater board, irrigation department and other departments Tuesday evening to discuss the cause of the cracks.

It started June 11 with the drought-affected Bundelkhand region’s districts of Hamirpur, Jalaun and Orai and then affected Rae Bareli, Allahabad and Kanpur.

“The exact reason behind the cracking of the earth in UP districts is yet to be ascertained,” Mridul Srivastava, a GSI scientist, who visited the spot told IANS.

Officials of the UP groundwater directorate inspected the affected sites in Kakori.

“Although a final report on the cause of the cracks is yet to be prepared, we still feel it happened because of the decline in the groundwater level,” Devendra Sharma, a nodal officer at UP groundwater directorate, told IANS.

He said owing to the recent monsoon showers, rainwater has percolated into the ground triggering oxidation and gaseous reactions under the earth’s surface. And this has eventually led to the cracks developing in the land.

Lucknow University geologists said the loss in binding capacity of soil was the reason for the cracks.

“Owing to the loss of groundwater, the soil at the affected sites had lost its cohesive property that tends to keep it intact. With the loss of this property, the soil is not able to bind with the water molecules. This resulted in the cracks,” said Vibhuti Rai, a professor with the Lucknow University’s geology department.

But, the villagers cite their own reason behind the cracks that developed in the fields.

“We have heard there is an underground tunnel that leads to the historic Sahedra Mosque in Kakori. The cracks could have occurred because of it,” said Sumer Gautam, a resident.

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