Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spectacular Moon-Venus conjunction on Wednesday.

Spectacular Moon-Venus conjunction on Wednesday
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
The two brightest objects in the night sky, Venus and Moon, is seen today (31/12/2008)above the Ranchi city of Jharkhand State. Conjunction is a term used in astronomy for the relative positions of celestial bodies.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Air pollution threats Ranchi city of Jharkhand State, India.

Air pollution threats Ranchi city of Jharkhand State, India.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi

We are already seeing the effects of air pollution in Ranchi city the capital of Jharkhand State of India. It has also affected the climate. From last several years Ranchi is facing extremes of the climate. In year 2005and 2006 Ranchi had spells of excessive rainfall. In the month of February and March 2007 Ranchi faced heavy rainfall followed with hail storms which is unusual in Ranchi at this time. We have faced extremes of climate in very quick interval this year till now.

In 1960's and 1970's peoples of Ranchi (the then summer capital of Bihar Jharkhand united) rarely used fans even in summer seasons. This facts can be justified by the following statements published in Ranchi Gazetteers in the year 1970- " The climate of the Ranchi plateau is cool and pleasant. It is only during the month’s of April or May that the temperature rises occasionally. The general elevation of 2,180 feet above sea level gives it a uniformly lower range temperature than the plains."

Three decades ago Ranchi was known for its healthy climate. People from the surrounding states use to visit Ranchi and its neighbouring places for their health benefit. That time Ranchi was known for its clean air and very less pollution. Motor vehicles, the major source of air pollution, were less. In my childhood I remember that I use to count the vehicles on my fingers.

Now the Ranchi air has become highly polluted. Children are suffering from different lungs diseases. Eyes burning while driving scooter or even walking, is now a very common phenomenon. Toxic gases emitted from the automobiles are increasing many folds. Lots of trees have also been cut down for making houses, marketing complexes etc. Due to thin vegetation Ranchi is under the grip of dust pollution. Due to the dust pollution sky above the Ranchi looks pale yellow. At night very few stars are now visible. I remember when I was a child I used to admire and imagine all the stars. Sky was so neat and clean.
Most of the houses now build in Ranchi are not properly ventilated. A lack of ventilation indoors concentrates air pollution where people often spend the majority of their time. Radon (Rn) gas, a carcinogen, is exuded from the Earth in certain locations and trapped inside houses. Building materials including carpeting and plywood emit formaldehyde (H2CO) gas. Paint and solvents give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as they dry. Lead paint can degenerate into dust and be inhaled. Intentional air pollution is introduced with the use of air fresheners, incense, and other scented items.

An air pollutant is known as a substance in the air that can cause harm to humans and the environment. Pollutants can be in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases. In addition, they may be natural or man-made.

In this article I am going to discuss some of the major sources of air pollution in Ranchi city.
Following are the major sources of air pollution in the city.

1. Transportation.
2. Solid waste combustion.

Transportation:
After the formation of Jharkhand motor vehicles have increased many folds. Ranchi topped the list of increase in vehicle registrations in 2001-2002, the largest in buses, cars, taxis, jeeps, two-wheelers and three wheelers were recorded in Ranchi. Transportation (cars, trucks, buses etc.) is responsible for a significant percentage of criteria pollutants, such as Sulfur dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, Volatile organic compounds, Particulates, Carbon monoxide and Lead.
Emissions from an individual car are generally low. Average emission of carbon monoxide from the two wheelers varies from 0.04% to 0.10% and average emission of hydro carbons was 500 ppm in Ranchi city. But emissions from thousands of vehicles plying in the streets of Ranchi city add up, making the automobile the first greatest polluter. Main problem is with old cars especially diesel operated. In fact, driving a car is probably a typical citizen’s most “polluting” daily activity.

The sources of Automobile Emission:

The power to move an automobile results from burning fuel in an internal combustion engine. Pollution from automobiles comes from by-products of this combustion process (exhaust) and from evaporation of the fuel itself.
Fuel is burned in the cylinder of an internal combustion engine at very high temperatures (1500 degree F.). At such high temperatures, atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen combines to form nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons from un-burnt fuel, carbon monoxide from incomplete combustion, and carbon dioxide are formed. All these major pollutants are then emitted as exhaust gases into the atmosphere. In addition, the combustion of gasoline additives produces minor amounts of pollutants, such as 1,3-butadiene, benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and particulate matter, especially from diesel engines.
Concerning evaporative emissions, hydrocarbon pollutants escape into the air through fuel evaporation, which accounts for as much as 65 percent of the total hydrocarbon pollution from current model automobiles. Fuel evaporates most readily in hot weather, and fuel evaporation occurs in several ways, including:

· Daytime evaporation.
· Running losses.
· Hot soak.
· Refueling.

Gasoline vapors are always present in the fuel tanks. These fumes are forced out when the tank is refueled. In addition, gasoline vapors are emitted from the gasoline pump’s nozzle during the refueling. It not only affects the air quality but also the health of the consumers and people residing near this gasoline station. Peoples leaving near the gasoline station in Ranchi city always complain about the foul smell, nausea and giddiness. It is due to the fumes which are forced out by the owners when the tank is refueled. In above figure two wheeler is being checked for carbon monoxide emission

Solid Waste Combustion:
The emissions from solid waste combustion include carbon monoxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, mercury, lead, hydrogen chloride, and minor amounts of chlorinated dioxins.
In Ranchi many areas looks like dumping ground of municipal wastes and house hold wastes. It has also been seen that these toxic wastes are burned in an open air. Open Burning" of solid waste degrades the air quality. Harmful toxins may also be released. Open burning produces unsightly and odorous smoke. Low wind speeds during these hours further compound the problem.

Wastes deposited beside the city rivulets poses more threat to environment. These wastes contain large amounts of plastics and medical wastes. Most people who burn their plastic domestic waste do not realize how harmful this practice is to their health and to the environment. Current research indicates that backyard- burning of waste is far more harmful to our health than previously thought. It can increase the risk of heart disease, aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema, and cause rashes, nausea, or headaches, damages in the nervous system, kidney or liver, in the reproductive and development system. The burning of polystyrene polymers -such as foam cups, meat trays, egg containers, yogurt and deli containers -releases styrene. Styrene gas can readily be absorbed through the skin and lungs. At high levels styrene vapor can damage the eyes and mucous membranes. Long term exposure to styrene can affect the central nervous system, causing headaches, fatigue, weakness, and depression.
Not only these people who are burning the trash are exposed to these pollutants,
but also their neighbours, children and families.

The most dangerous emissions can be caused by burning plastics containing organoch-
lor-based substances like PVC. When such plastics are burned, harmful quantities of
Dioxins, a group of highly toxic chemicals are emitted. Dioxins are the most toxic to the
Human organisms. They are carcinogenic and a hormone disruptor and persistent,
and they accumulate in our body-fat and thus mothers give it directly to their babies
via the placenta. Dioxins also settle on crops and in our waterways where they eventu-
ally wind up in our food, accumulate in our bodies and are passed on to our children.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Diesel Generators poses serious health hazard in Ranchi city of India.

Diesel generators poses serious health hazard in Ranchi city of India.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi



In recent years the shortage of power coupled with unreliable and poor quality of the power supply has resulted in a proliferation of captive generator sets, run with either diesel, petrol or kerosine, as an alternate source of power. This is happening, particularly, in urban areas where the need is greater. Unfortunately, in most of these places there is an overlap of commercial, residential and industrial areas which together with poor planning for the installation of generator sets and absence of any acoustic treatment/enclosure, leads to excessive noise pollution.

In the photograph you can see one generator being kept in a very densely populated business area in heart of the Ranchi city, the capital of Jharkhand State. In the background you can also see the food stall where the green vegetables are used for popular Chinese foods. Possibilities of deposition of the smokes and dust containing toxic gases and particulates on the vegetables and Chinese food is high. People consuming these foods are at the higher risk of developing different health diseases. Even the local shopkeepers are under threat of different lungs diseases. These generator runs on an average for 4 to 7 hours a day during peak hour. This is not only one case in Ranchi there are several other numerous spots in Ranchi city where diesel operated generators are being used in an open space.
It is not only creating air pollution but also noise pollution.

A typical standby diesel generator produces 25-30 pounds of nitrogen oxides (NOx) per megawatt hour of power generated. Nitrogen oxides are a smog-forming pollutant. Diesel is produced from a fossil fuel and engines using it as a fuel produce air pollution and high sulfur levels. Diesel fuel also creates a distinct smell and exposure to diesel engine exhaust can also lead to health hazards.
Diesel emission levels of NOx, carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons, and particulate matter were a substantial contributor to poor air quality.
The visible pollution generated by burning diesel contains elemental carbon.
And the smell comes from a group of particles called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, well-known cancer causing agents.
How effective are air pollution diesel emissions as a carcinogen? They were found to cause of up to 70 percent of atmospheric pollution induced cancer cases.
In one study, volunteers who allowed themselves to be exposed to diesel fumes reported coughing, sore throat and eyes, , headaches , and nausea. Some came down with lung inflammation after exposure.
Other common symptoms included the production of phlegm and difficulty breathing. Of course, people also complained about odors. A perpetual annoyance.
Fine particulate matter (PM) in diesel exhaust can by pass the body’s natural defenses penetrating deep into the lungs where it may cause or exacerbate respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, and even premature death.

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines contribute to smog formation which has been linked to increases in hospital admissions for asthma and is most
dangerous to children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. NOx emissions also react with other air pollutants to increase the level of particulates in the air.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rocks of Ranchi city in India is radioactive.

Are the rocks of Ranchi city in India is Radioactive?
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi







Ranchi is the capital city of the Indian state of Jharkhand.  / The total area covered by Ranchi - Municipal Area is about 110 square kilometers and the average elevation of the city is 2,140 feet above sea level.
Geographically, Ranchi is located on southern part of the Chota Nagpur plateau which forms the eastern edge of the Deccan plateau system. The area surrounding Ranchi has been endowed with natural attractions and it is referred to as the “City of Waterfalls”.
As of 2001 India census, Ranchi had a population of 846,454. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%.

Rocks around Ranchi:

The oldest geological formation of this district is represented by Dharwar sediments with the basic intrusive. These, being later intruded by the batholithic mass of Chota Nagpur granite, were metamorphosed into various types of schistose and gneissic rocks. The remnants of the earlier sedimentary and igneous rocks are known from the inclusions of phyllites and schists of varying dimensions in the granite mass and the extensive areas of Khondalites. Phyllites are by far the predominant rock type in the south-east portion of this district. Chota Nagpur granite gneiss forms the country rocks of the district and is a part of the enormous intrusive mass.

Within the main body, the granite gneiss varies from a normal medium- grained rock to a porphyritic material with large crystals of potash feldspar. Quartz, biotite or hornblende are the other essential minerals. Apatite, zircon, sphene are rutile are the accessories. The amphibolites occur as minor intrusive in the Khondalite series. Amphibolite also occur as minor enclaves in the granite gneisses in and around Ranchi city.

Radioactivity in the Environment:

Humans have always been exposed throughout their period of existence to naturally occurring ionising radiation. Specifically, naturally occurring radionuclides are present in variable amounts in our environment. To assess radiological health hazards, naturally occurring radionuclides are being measured in soil, sand, marble, bricks etc throughout the world.

Terrestrial radiation comes from radioactive elements that were present at the time the earth was formed. They continue to decay and form additional radioactive materials.
Unusual soil composition has increased background radiation twenty-five fold or more in a few areas in the world. Locations with high background radiation in the soil, mainly from uranium, include the Rocky Mountains, Kerala India, coastal regions of Brazil, granite rock areas of France, and the northern Nile Delta.
In the United States, lower background radiation is seen in the sandy soils of the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains.


The distribution of naturally-occurring uranium, radon, and other radioactive elements, radionuclides, depends on the distribution of rocks from which they originate and the processes which concentrate them. The key therefore is to know the distribution of source-rock materials containing elevated levels of radionuclides and to understand the physical and geochemical processes that concentrate radionuclides."

Gamma and alpha radiation emitted by radioactive elements in rocks and soils, especially those that decay quickly (such as radon), pose a health risk. This radiation is implicated in cancers of the lung, bone, and of other organs.

Radioactivity generated by those radioactive elements that exist in the Earth's crust. All the elements from polonium (atomic number 84) to uranium (atomic number 92) are radioactive. Radioisotopes of some lighter elements are also found in nature (for example potassium-40).

Radioactive gases such as radon are found in soil and may seep upwards into buildings.

Radioactivity in Ranchi soil:

Seeing the rock types and its mineral composition background or radioactive radiation cannot be ruled out in Ranchi. This fact was justified by a published report of Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University. According to the report Air-gamma dose rate was 0.30 μSv/h on the surface in the densely populated area in the city. In Ranchi the concentration of K-40 (potassium-40) and thorium is high. Concentration of Radium-226 was 75 Bq/Kg in the soils.

Very interesting thing in the Ranchi city is that name of one of its major road is RADIUM ROAD. Till today no body knows from where did this name came from. Name of this road exists from the British rule in India i.e. before 1947.

Potassium 40 is found in potassium feldspar (orthoclase), muscovite, and amphibole.
Uranium may be found in zircon ,urananite ,monazite ,apatite and sphene . Seeing the presence of apatite, sphene and zircon in the Ranchi rocks, presence of Uranium cannot be ruled out. According to the report Uranium concentration is also high in Ranchi. All these concentrations are of natural origin. Radioactivity in the bricks made by the local soil may pose threat to the people living in the houses made by these bricks.

When Uranium is there, presence of Radon cannot be ruled out. It is radioactive gas that comes up from the soil and collects in basements and ground floors, sometimes in well water. Radon is a prominent villain in the United States, blamed for tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer.

Radon is relatively high in uranium-rich rocks such as ancient granites, like Ranchi, high-organic shales and coal beds.

There are areas in the world where the content of the uranium or thorium in soil are high, and the people are receiving exposure of 10 or more times in such a place compared with other areas. There is no other way but to accept. Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, is one of such the places.

Health effects:

Potassium-40 can present both an external and internal health hazard. In the body, potassium-40 poses a health hazard from the both the beta particles and gamma rays. . The health hazard of potassium-40 is associated with cell damage caused by the ionizing radiation that results from radioactive decay.

There is no evidence that exposure to naturally present levels of radium has harmful effects on human health. However, exposure to higher levels of radium may result in health effects, such as teeth fracture, anaemia and cataract.

Radium is constantly produced by the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium. Radium is present at very low levels in rocks and soil and strongly attaches to those materials. It is also found in air. High concentrations of radium exist in water on some locations.Uranium mining results in higher levels of radium in water near uranium mines. Plants absorb radium from the soil. Animals that eat these plants will accumulate radium.Finally, radium may concentrate in fish and other aquatic organisms and bio magnify up the food chain.
People will always be exposed to small amounts of thorium through air, food and water, because it is found nearly everywhere on earth.All people absorb some thorium through food or drinking water, and the amounts in air are so small, that the uptake through air can usually be ignored. Breathing in thorium in the workplace may increase the chances of development of lung diseases and lung and pancreas cancer many years after people have been exposed. Thorium has the ability to change genetic materials.
Seeing the high concentration of thorium (210 Bq/kg) people of Ranchi may face some thorium exposures.

Conclusion:
Even the exposure in Ranchi city may be of very low dose, exposure to radiation accompanies risk. However, since the natural activity exists on the earth and there is a radiation such as a cosmic ray, we cannot escape the exposure completely. Seeing the possibilities of Radon gas, houses built in Ranchi should be proper ventilated and making of basements should be avoided.

Reference:

Priyadarshi, N. 1998. A handbook geology of Chotanagpur, Aoyushi Publications, Ranchi, India.

http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/natural+radioactivity

http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/background+radiation

Saturday, November 22, 2008

POTENTIAL OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY IN JHARKHAND STATE OF INDIA.

POTENTIAL OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY IN JHARKHAND STATE OF INDIA.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi

Till a couple of decades back geothermal energy was not playing any significant role in the scenario of world energy production. Even now, it hardly constitutes 1% of the total electricity output. Lately, however, geothermal energy scene is changing very fast with a rapid spurt in its direct and indirect use, primarily due to Eco-friendly, renewable and pollution free character. Also, geothermal resources are abundantly available throughout the globe.

Geothermal water has a temperature appreciably higher than that of the local average annual air temperature. However, in general, a spring is considered hot when its temperature is about 12.2 0c higher than mean annual ambient temperature . The relative terms geothermal water, warm springs and hot springs are common.

Geothermal water discharges from numerous springs located mostly in mountanious or plateau areas. The springs are connected by faults to deeply buried reservoirs that contain geothermal water, which moves upward along the fault zones to discharge at the land surface. Much geothermal water discharges as hot springs that flow steadily instead of erupting at intervals.
One theory use to explain how geothermal water becomes heated in areas that are underlain by complex geologic structures is that when precipitation falls in highland areas recharges the aquifer system. Some of the water moves downward along faults and fracture zones to great depths. As the water descends, it becomes heated because of the geothermal gradient. At some depth, the heated water becomes lighter than the overlying water and then moves upward along faults to discharge as spring flow.

Jharkhand has the good reservoir of geothermal energy in its earth’s interior, whose surface manifestations are the steaming grounds and hot springs. The hot springs in Peninsular Shield of Jharkhand are located along a zone running more or less parallel to Damodar Valley Coalfield, i.e. along faulted boundaries.

In Jharkhand the thermal springs are found in Tatta- Jarom of Palamau district and Surajkund, Duari, Bagodar of Hazaribag district. The Tatta spring occurs within the Gondwana rocks and Jarom occurs within Proterozoic rocks. The temperature of the thermal discharge at Jarom is 50 degree c. (centigrade) to 57 degree c. while at Tatta it varies from 61 degree c. to65 degree c. in different spouts. All the thermal springs in Hazaribag district are grouped in Damodar valley graben geothermal province.

Needless to emphasis that geothermal energy is presently recognized as the only one of the so-called alternative renewable energy resources which is technically, commercially and economically viable for generation of electricity. There is another important aspect. Unlike, other power projects-a ‘geothermal plant’ has a minimum negative impact on the environment. It is thus necessary to promote such alternative sources in Jharkhand to combat with power crisis.
Surajkund main spring in Hazaribag district records the second highest temperature 88 degree c. after Tattapani hot spring of Madhya Pradesh. The other hot springs are Lakshmikund (53 degree c.), Brahmakund (45 degree c.), Ramkund (62 degree c.), Satrughnakund (68 degree c.) and Sitakund (53 degree c.) and they discharge thermal fluids up to 4 liter per second. Tatta discharge 2.1 liter per second and Jarom discharge 1.8 liter per second.
Most of the hot springs of Jharkhand are not potable due to high concentration of floride. Concentration of Helium is highest in the thermal gases of Surajkund. Where as Methane is highest in Barkagaon. In Jarom Mercury concentration in soil around the hot springs varies from 20 ppb (parts per billion) to 125 ppb. Cawa Gandhwani and Duari hot springs are more radioactive.
Excessive concentration of certain dissolved minerals in geothermal water pose water-quality problems. The most common of these minerals are dissolved fluoride, arsenic, and iron. Concentration of dissolved fluoride in excess of 4 milligrams per liter can cause mottling of teeth, especially children’s and can cause bones to become brittle.
The geothermal energy can be used for space heating, development of cold storage for preservation of bio and agro products, setting up of plants for drying, processing, preserving and canning of fruits and fruit products.

The hot springs in Jharkhand are situated mainly in hilly tribal belt or in isolated and remote region of the state. Obviously these rural areas are backward and poor. The energy needs of the people of rural and backward area are primarily for irrigation, farm inputs, processing and preservation of agro products, cooking, lighting and space heating. Hot spring water of low temperature has been directly used for irrigation of field/farm and to increase the soil temperature for obtaining early maturity and bumper crops as done in China and Russia. Waters of low temperatures of hot springs can be directly used for irrigation of field/ farm to increase the soil temperature for obtaining early maturity and to increase production of vegetables and mushroom growth under controlled conditions. The hot springs area can also be used for development of tourism and health resorts.

Regarding Helium concentration assessment of Helium reservoir may be undertaken in the area studied to see if Helium can be mined and Methane content may be evaluated to determine whether it is a usable resource in the region.

As a matter of fact, our resources are quite similar to that of China, who are exploiting them on large scale. They rank number one in installed thermal power capacity. It is, therefore necessary to give serious thought to exploit our resources too, at least those situated in power starved hilly areas, where due to lack of infrastructure and adequate demand, conventional power plants would not be economically viable.

Reference:
Dunn, J.A., 1942, The economic geology and mineral resources of Bihar Province: Mem. Geol. Surv. India, v. LXXVIII, p. 197-204.

Ghosh, P.K., 1954, Mineral springs of India: Rec. Geol. Surv. Ind., v. 80, p. 545-558.

Prasad, J.M., 1996, Geothermal energy resources of Bihar, in U.L. Pitale, and R.N. Padhi, eds., Geothermal energy in India: GSI special publication 45, p. 99-117.

Priyadarshi, N., 2002, Potential of geothermal energy in Jharkhand State, India, in Proceedings of the 1st conference and exhibition on strategic challenges and paradigm shift in hydrocarbon exploration with special reference to Frontier Basins, held in Mussoorie, India. Published by Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 2 p. 261-265.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Baobab (Kalptaru) tree is under threat in Jharkhand state of India.

Baobab (Kalptaru) tree is under threat in Jharkhand state of India.

by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi

Fig: Baobab tree beside the road in Ranchi city.









Fig: Remaining Kalptaru tree under threat due to vehicles movement.

Fig: Uprooted Baobab tree.

A rare tree, which is over 250 years old, was uprooted due to heavy rainfall in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi. Baobab, also known as Kalpataru, is a rare medicinal tree. According to unofficial report, there are only nine such trees in India. Of the nine, four are found in Ranchi city.
In British rule, a writer of Jharkhand had described its importance and uniqueness.
Muslim traders are credited with their introduction in Jharkhand State from tropical Africa, where the tree is indigenous. All the three trees are found in the Muslim dominated area in Ranchi city.
In Hindu - the tree is considered tree of life, eternity and environment harmony. It is also known as the mythical tree that fulfill desires. The tree is the symbol of our identity and its potential.
Now only three are left. All these remaining trees are also under threat. As they are beside the busy road they are always under the threat due to the movement of heavy vehicles. Movement of such vehicles creates tremors which gradually affects the roots as the roots of baobab( Adansonia digitata) are not deeply rooted in the ground and due to great size of the trunk. Also recently Jharkhand Govt. had decided to cut down these trees to widen the roads.
It has the importance not only in Hindu religion but also in the country like Indonesia. Just like Garuda, Kalpataru tree is also used for various purposes in Indonesia. In Indonesia, Kalpataru is used as the logo of Indonesian Environment Institution.
The baobab is a traditional food plant in Africa, but is little-known elsewhere. It has been suggested that the vegetable has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land care.
This is a strange looking tree; formerly it was cultivated near houses, temples etc. The great size attained by the trunk makes it unsuitable for planting along modern streets. In the past it was cultivated perhaps on account of its strange looks and of its medicinal value of most of its part.
The various parts of the baobab are used to treat a large number of ailments. Nearly every part of the tree has some medicinal value. A few include: powered bark mixed with porridge for malaria; the pulp of the fruit is mixed with honey and is used for coughing; the leaves are used for diarrhoea, fever, inflammation, kidney and bladder diseases, blood clearing, and asthma; the leaves also serve as emollients and are used to help extract guinea worm; the fruits and seeds are used for dysentery, fever, haemoptysis and diarrhoea; dry powered roots are prepared as a mash for malaria; and gum from the bark is used for cleaning sores.
It can grow up to 25 meters tall and can live for several thousand years. The baobab is leafless for nine months of the year.
It is sad how ignorant we are that these trees stand so neglected. Even if they are not the mythological ‘kalpatarus’, they are definitely very old, historical trees, which must have seen generations of Ranchi. Indeed, they need attention.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Karanj tree can be the best option of bio fuel in Jharkhand State of India.

Karanj tree can be the best option of bio fuel in Jharkhand State of India.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi

In the scenario of imminent energy crises fuelled by huge import bills and rising prices of petro-based products, biofuels seem to be options of the future. Some promising biofuel species like Jatropha and Pongamia are being used traditionally for domestic purposes in many parts of India. Karanj, (Pogamia pinnata) a plant native to India, appears to have good potential for biodiesel. Considered less exotic than Jatropha, there is a good chance that its oil is cheaper as well.
Continuous increase in demand of petroleum products has encouraged the experts to search new alternatives of petroleum products. It is the result of their search that today we are having many alternatives of petroleum products. There are many alternatives in the name of Bio-diesel. India has also taken initiative in this field and today the whole world is looking to the Indian’s bio-diesel plans. The Indian experts have identified many plants that can be used as source to Bio-diesel. For different agro-climatic situations they have suggested different types of plants. But ignoring these recommendations every where the promotion of single species Jatropha is in progress. No one is thinking about other alternatives. Although in media the name of Jatropha is in top but in fact its nearer relative Karanj (Pogamia pinnata) is having immense potential as bio-diesel plant. And for real development the promotion of Karanj is must. From scientific point of view Karanj is far better than Jatropha.

Very few people know that Jatropha is exotic plant .It is native to Tropical America. Karanj is native plant and it is present in our homeland since generations. The modern research have proved it that the introduction of new component in any ecosystem affects the life of each and every component from top to bottom i.e. from other plants to microorganisms. Jatropha is known as plant having dominating nature. This plant is rich in allelochemicals. This is the reason the traditional healers of Chhattisgarh have named it as Raja Van (King Plant) .It suppresses the growth of other plants. Due to its aggressive nature and harmful impact on flora it is declared as problematic weed in many countries. There is no such problem from Karanj. Karanj is an integral part of our ecosystem and it supports the growth of many plants as well as microorganisms in nature.

Recently the seed oil has been found to be useful in diesel generators. Last year in Gardih village of Bokaro district in Jharkhand State,the experiment to generate electricity with oilseeds of karanj was hugely successful. Barely 2 litres of the oil light up 100 homes as well as 20 bulbs put on lamp-posts outside for three hours every evening, between 6 and 9 pm.
Karanj is a wild and largely neglected tree that grows unplanned but in abundance in several forested areas, in Jharkhand. The ease with which the oil has substituted diesel or petrol at Gardih, has opened up possibilities of electrifying villages at the fraction of the cost required to extend transmission lines across remote and far-flung areas.
In Jharkhand it is found occasionally along streams and largely along road sides. From ancient days Karanj oil is being used in Jharkhand to light diya (small pot made of soil) during diwali festival.
It is a deciduous tree that grows to about 15-25 meters in height with a large canopy that spreads equally wide. The leaves are a soft, shiny burgundy in early summer and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods. The tree is well suited to intense heat and sunlight and its dense network of lateral roots and its thick, long taproot make it drought tolerant. The dense shade it provides slows the evaporation of surface water and its root structures promote nitrogen fixation, which moves nutrients from the air into the soil. Withstanding temperatures slightly below 0°C to 50°C and annual rainfall of 5–25 dm, the tree grows wild on sandy and rocky soils.
Although all parts of the plant are toxic and will induce nausea and vomiting if eaten, the fruits and sprouts, along with the seeds, are used in many traditional remedies. Juices from the plant, as well as the oil, are antiseptic and resistant to pests. In addition the Pongam tree has the rare property of producing seeds of 25-35% lipid content. The seed oil is an important asset of this tree having been used as lamp oil, in soap making, and as a lubricant for thousands of years.
In Jharkhand the local people use the Karanj oil in different medicinal purposes. The oil has been known for its curative effect for skin problems such as herpes, leucoderma, psoriasis, scabies and skin itches. The root is ground with water and is used for cure of wounds.
Karanj honey is obtained by migrating bee colonies by beekeepers of the region to districts of Ranchi, Palamu, Hazaribagh of the Jharkhand state.
Though Jharkhand has vast deposits of minerals like iron ore, coal and bauxite, time has come to think and act for alternatives of minerals before they exhaust. 'We should think not only about the present but also about the future and the coming generations. Bio-diesel production will benefit Jharkhand, as the pollution level is high in many parts of the state due to mining and industrial waste.


Reference:

http://www.humanscape.org/Contribute/karanj.php

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070227/asp/jharkhand/story_7442565.asp

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Growing Sunflower in Jadugoda of Jharkhand State, India can minimize radioactive pollution.



Growing Sunflower in Jadugoda of Jharkhand State, India can minimize radioactive pollution.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Exposure to nuclear radiation is affecting the health of miners and villagers at Jadugoda in Singhbhum district in Jharkhand State located in Eastern India, which is India’s first uranium mining. Jadugoda, literally meaning "magic land", intrigues an outsider. The promise of magic enthralls; the mystery of the unknown attracts. But closeness reveals not innocence but an intention, dangerous and deliberate. According to different N.G.Os working among the tribal peoples of Singhbhum said the radiation may not bring sudden dramatic illness but slowly undermines the health of the people living in the surrounding villages.
The diseases include blood in cough, ulcer, swelling of bone joints, asthma, eye problems, etc.The people in the Jadugoda area are affected not only by radiation from tailing dams but also by lack of safety at the mines. Fatigue, lack of appetite, respiratory ailments are wide spread. Increases in miscarriages, impotency, infant mortality, Down’s syndrome, skeletal deformities and different skin diseases, children with big heads, thalassemia have been reported.

The contamination of soil and ground water with radionuclides poses a serious problem in areas affected by the precipitation and use of nuclear materials such as uranium, tritium, cesium, strontium, technetium and plutonium.

A need for a cost effective and environmentally safe procedure to reclaim such lands have become a main priority. Large efforts have been conducted to reclaim contaminated lands. In recent years use of plants to remove radionuclides from the soils and the water (Phytoremediation) are gaining importance.

Phytoremediation is the use of certain plants to withdrawal chemicals, compounds, and heavy metals from the soil. Knowledge of these plants, and specifically their biology, has allowed for innovative techniques to reclaim contaminated soil sites. Not all plants have the same capability to withdrawal such things as nickel, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. However, some plants can tolerate high levels of heavy metals and other toxic chemicals. These plants are referred to as hyper accumulators. The best plants used in phytoremediation are those plants that have hay crop characteristics that are tall, high yielding, fast growing, and easy to harvest.

Not only do these plants uptake the unwanted material, but such plants also limit the movement of materials within the soil, and in some cases those materials can then be extracted from the plant and reused.

With the help of plants, scientists have been able to start reclaiming the soil and water surrounding Chernobyl Russia. Scientists have found that sunflowers can remove radionuclides from the soil as well as water, when grown hydroponically. These sunflowers can reduce the amount of uranium concentrations in the water by up to 95%. The sunflowers are then harvested and the radioactive material within the plant is disposed of properly.

The tests used sunflower plants to pull radionuclides from a pond contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl accident. According to scientists, these tests demonstrate that rhizofiltration is a practical way to treat radionuclides, including uranium, cesium, and strontium found in groundwanter.
The roots of the Sunflower cultivar (Helianthus annuus L.), when submerged in water, quickly accumulate heavy metals and radionuclides.

In Jadugoda where the peoples are most affected with radiation, growing Sunflower can be seen as one of the important methods to minimize toxic metals from the water and soil.
To grow well, sunflowers need full sun. Jharkhand State receives sufficient sun rays through out the year. Seeing the favourable climatic conditions, local people and NGOs must be motivated to go for sunflower plantation in the affected areas.

We have become too set on thinking that man can do things better than nature itself. Phytoremediation proves us wrong. We have relied on our technologies and our manmade devices too much. We have become so use to this way of thinking that we have ignored some vital nature processes. Once we understand these processes and what they entail we weave ourselves more tightly into the web of life, and thus become closer to living in harmony with nature.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ranchi is celebrating Diwali

Ranchi sky is covered with smoke of the crackers. Stars are not visible.






















Monday, October 27, 2008

Ranchi getting ready for Diwali.

Ranchi the capital city of Jharkhand State of India is preparing for Diwali festival which going to be celebrated on 28th of October. People are purchasing sweets, crackers, toys made of soils painted with different colours etc. In the picture below a women is found selling oil made by the extracts of plants. This oil will be used to burn lights with the help of earthy pots (diya). Such oils (Karanj oil) are the best examples of bio-fuel used in the State of Jharkhand from the ancient days. Buildings are also being decorated with lights instead of traditional methods of burning lights in the pots made of soils.

My son preparing to burn crackers in the night today on the eve of Diwali Festival


Buildings are getting decorated for Diwali
The colourful sweets being sold in the local market. These sweets are found only in Diwali


























All photographs by Nitish Priyadarshi

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Diamonds are also found as placers deposit.

Diamonds are also found as placers deposit.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Diamond, a gem amongst gems the crystallized carbon and the hardest mineral known is a rare gift from mother earth to humanity. With admantine luster and twinkling habit it fascinated men and women from time immemorial. To win diamonds temples have been profaned, palaces looted, thrones torn to fragments, princes tortured, women strangled, guests poisoned and slaves disemboweled. No strain of fancy in an Arabian Tale has outstripped the marvels of fact in the diamond’s history. So wrote Garner Williams, the General Manager of the renowned Diamond Company De Beers in 1890.

Pliny (A.D.100) described diamond as the king of the stones known only to the kings and to them superficially only as decorative objects. Now diamonds can be possessed by those who are not necessarily kings. It is estimated that about three hundred million women own at least a piece of diamond as jewellery today. Wannenburgh in the year 1990 in his book diamond people, mentioned that each year, men and women spend almost forty billion dollars on about sixty million pieces containing some fifteen million carats of diamonds.

Diamonds occurs in nature in (1) primary form in igneous rocks like kimberlite, lamproites (2) secondary in conglomerates, grits and similar sedimentary rocks, (3) in Quaternary to Recent placers and (4) extra-terrestrial, as in meteorites. Of these different sources most of the diamonds in the world are recovered from the first and the third type.
Minerals which are more abundant than diamond and act as pathfinders to locate diamondiferous source rocks are considered as indicator minerals in exploration for diamonds. These are formed along with diamond in the upper mantle and brought up to the surface as xenocrysts in the kimberlite and lamproite magma. Indicator minerals useful in diamond exploration are pyrope garnet, picro- ilmenite, chrome-diopside, chromite, spinel and micro diamond.
Diamonds as placers deposit:
In geology, a placer deposit or placer is an accumulation of valuable minerals formed by deposition of dense mineral phases in a trap site Placer mining. (pronounced "plass-er") refers to the mining of alluvial deposits for minerals. This may be done by open-pit (also called open-cast mining) or by various forms of tunneling into ancient riverbeds. Excavation may be accomplished using water pressure (hydraulic mining), surface excavating equipment or tunneling equipment.
The name derives from Spanish, placera, meaning "alluvial sand." It refers to mining the precious metal deposits (particularly diamonds, gold and gemstones) found in alluvial deposits—deposits of sand and gravel in modern or ancient stream beds.
The simplest technique to extract diamond or gold from placer ore is panning. In panning, some mined ore is placed in a large metal or plastic pan, combined with a generous amount of water, and agitated so that the gold particles, being of higher density than the other material, settle to the bottom of the pan. The lighter gangue material such as sand, mud and gravel are then washed over the side of the pan, leaving the precious stones behind.

Fig. Aeolian diamond placers of Namibian desert in Africa

The disintegration of primary rock due to weathering, transportation and deposition along with valuable minerals like diamond, gold, tin ore etc., give rise to placers. If the placers are very close to the source, they are known as “eluvial placers”. If shifted down the hill or slope they get grouped as “deluvial placers”. If the material gets accumulated at the foot of the hill due to gravity action it is called “colluvial placers”. The material transported by water, streams and rivers for longer distance deposited away from the source is called “alluvial placers”. Deposition along the shores of the sea results in “beach placers” and in deserts when deposition takes place by wind it is called “aeolian placers”.
The secondary deposits are formed by the weathering of the kimberlite and the lamproite. The diamonds are released from the rock and then, they are transported hundreds of kilometres away to be found in river beds, beach sands, old river beds (sometime found on top of hills deep jungle forest, deserts, etc... Diamonds may also have been transported by glaciers and if the journey has been hard, rough and long, they are not to be found as they have been broken and grinded into near dust.
There is no single, universally applicable method of target selection for alluvial diamond deposits. Climatic and geomorphic history, stratigraphy, structure and tectonic history are important factors that require study and need to be understood for each alluvial diamond province prior to target selection. What is appropriate in one part of the world may be entirely inappropriate in another, but there are some basic principles which must be followed in planning and executing any alluvial diamond exploration program.
Before starting field exploration, it is important to have a comprehensive knowledge of (i) the regional geology of the drainage basin under revue; (ii) the constituent lithologies of the gravel being prospected for; (iii) the geomorphic and climatic factors which have affected the exploration area; (iv) the type of deposit to be sought; and (v) any post-depositional processes which may have affected the alluvial deposits being considered for exploration.

World diamond occurrences were found in first in placer deposits which later led to the discovery of many primary kimberlite source rocks. Understanding the mechanism of formation of placers will help in locating areas of concentration of diamond in placers deposits.
Historically diamonds were known to be found only in alluvial deposits in southern India. India led the world in diamond production from the time of their discovery in approximately the 9th century BCE to the mid-18th century AD, but the commercial potential of these sources had been exhausted by the late 18th century and at that time India was eclipsed by Brazil where the first non-Indian diamonds were found in 1725.

Diamondiferous residual rubble and clay found on the mainland of Tanzania developed over weathered kimberlite pipe is a typical example of eluvial placer deposit. Diamondiferous placer of Namibian desert in Africa is a classic example of aeolian placer.
Precambrian diamond bearing conglomerate of Diamantina in Brazil, diamondiferous moraines of Michigan and Wisconsin in United States of America are example of glacial placers.
The diamantiferous gravels of the Belgian Congo, which yield about two-thirds of the world production, are former stream gravels, and the diamonds probably came originally from weathered kimberlite pipes, several of which are known within the Congo. Some diamonds also occur in the Lulua, Zambesi, and other basins.
The Orange River forms a geographic dividing-line between the nations of South Africa and Namibia. For the last hundred million years, the Orange has been carrying eroded diamondiferous kimberlite material from its source on the Kaapvaal Craton, in central South Africa and Botswana.
Diamond-bearing material was deposited in river bank gravels and alluvium as it traveled westward towards the Atlantic Ocean. Other diamondiferous material was re-distributed by wind action, settling to form eluvial deposits in the desert. Material that completed the journey was deposited in beach terrace sediments, or redistributed by northerly ocean currents, to off-shore marine deposits on the sea floor.
These secondary alluvial land and marine deposits are Namibia's only source for diamonds, but the Orange River has left an enormous amount of diamondiferous material in the vast drainage basin stretching 150 miles from Oranjemund to Elizabeth Bay. As the sea-level receded, diamond-bearing sediments were exposed, and eventually covered by blowing sand. Land-based secondary deposits must be excavated from this sedimentary layer that lies beneath a deep layer of surface sand.
In Jharkhand state of India diamonds were reported in Chotanagpur area (ancient name Kokrah) in the Brahmani, Sankh and Koel river basins as mentioned in old records. Records show that near Simah in Palamau district in the Sankh River, near Rajadera (Rajadera is a saucer shaped village, is situated 19 km from Chainpur and about 26 km south of Netarhat) and in Sadni falls originating point of Sankh River, active diamond mines existed. These mines are stated to have yielded in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries many large and fine stones especially from Sankh River. Diamonds were washed from the sands and gravels of river Gouel. The river is probably North koel, a tributary of Son. On the banks of this river an ancient township Semah/Semelpur existed. According to the old reports about 8000 people are stated to have worked in these mines.
Raigarh in the upper reaches of Mahanadi river, west of Hirakud, Orissa in India, is also known to have been active in diamond mining since ancient times. Local tribals carry out small scale panning and recover diamonds from alluvial and colluvial placers.
Mr. T.K. Rau of Geological survey of India recovered micro-and macro diamonds from the heavy mineral concentrates of beach samples from the southern tip of India. The diamonds exhibit varied tints of which white, pink and yellow are prominent.

Reference:
· Babu, T.M. Diamonds in India. 1998. Geological Society of India, Bangalore, India.
· Bateman, A.M. 1955. Economic Mineral Deposits, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
· Rau, T.K., 2006. Incidence of diamonds in the beach sands of the Kanyakumari Coast, Tamil Nadu, Journal of the Geological Society of India, vol.67, no1, pp.11-16.
· http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamonds#Mining.2C_sources_and_production
· http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placer_deposit
· http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placer_mining

Sunday, October 19, 2008

PROSPECTS OF COAL BED METHANE GAS IN JHARKHAND STATE OF INDIA.

PROSPECTS OF COAL BED METHANE GAS IN JHARKHAND STATE OF INDIA.

By
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi


Coal contains methane gas as an inherent component but in widely variable proportions depending on the rank of coal and depth of occurrence. Its presence in coal has so far been considered a hazard as it is an inflammable and explosive gas and there have been many fire accidents in coal mines throughout the world due to this gas. In recent years, coal bed methane has become a good source of clean thermal energy for its easy inflammability and it has come up as an additional energy resource from the coal basins especially in the countries like USA, Australia and China.

Deep seated coal seams of comparatively high rank contain considerable volume of methane adsorbed on coal surfaces.

Unlike much natural gas from conventional reservoirs, coal bed methane contains very little heavier hydrocarbons such as propane or butane, and no natural gas condensate. It often contains up to a few percent carbon dioxide.
India is struggling to find enough energy sources to meet up the growing energy demand coupled with economic growth. Indian government is now exploring alternative sources too. Indian government has received 54 bids to extract coal-bed methane (CBM) from various domestic and foreign energy companies. This is the highest amount of bids the government has ever received. 18 domestic companies and 8 foreign companies have submitted their bids to extract methane from ten areas. It shows CBM has a good prospect in India.

At present, many foreign companies are setting up their plants in India. In addition, Indian companies are targeting the global market. This rapid industrialization has made India an energy hungry country. As the price of oil continues remain high in the international market, CBM can be a good source of energy for India in future. In fact, India is going to start commercial production of CBM from 2007. Some states of India contains good reserve of coal.

The prospect for coal bed methane is mainly related to the coal resources of the country. India has huge Gondwana (mainly Permian, 99.5%) and Tertiary (Eocene and Oligocene) coal deposits distributed in several basins located in peninsular and extra-peninsular regions. About 204 billion tons of coal reserves have been established and approximately 200 million tons or so are likely to be added in the near future by further explorations.

CBM IN JHARKHAND:

In India prospects of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) is not very bright, as most of the Indian coals are of inferior quality and of low rank. However, some of the coal basins contain high rank coal where sizeable reserves of CBM may be expected. A recent assessment has identified certain areas of Gondwana coalfields where gas -in-place reserves of 564 billion cubic meters have been indicated.

In 1990, efforts to exploit coal bed methane were initiated by Essar Oil (a private oil company) under the advice of American experts. The methane emission and desorption studies on Gondwana coal samples from Jharia Coalfield (Jharkhand) were carried out by Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (Ranchi) and Central Mining Research Institute (Dhanbad). The content of gas and gas emission rate from these samples were found to be 1.8–2.3 m3/1000 m2 of surface and 12.7–17.3 m3/min, respectively. The studies carried out by Bharat Coking Coal Limited in the same area with the help of French experts indicated 0.68–1.45 m3/min gas emission rate.

In Jharkhand State areas identified for CBM are Jharia, East Bokaro, West Bokaro, North Karanpura and Rajmahal Basins.

The estimate reserves in Jharia coalfield is 4.82 trillion cubic feet, in East Bokaro it is 3.2 trillion cubic feet and West Bokaro it is 0.38 trillion cubic feet. Some of the new areas has also been identified like North Karanpura coalfield for the CBM which needs more survey.

Potential of CBM production in Jharia coalfield is 3.5 million cubic metres/day , East Bokaro has the potential of 2.5 million cubic metres /day, North Karanpura has the potential of 6.0 cubic metres /day and the Rajmahal Basin has the potential of 4.5 cubic metres/day.

Thick Tertiary coal of Makum area, Assam, and thick lignite seams of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat may also be positive areas for methane prospects. These factors need to be considered in future.

Reference:

Acharyya, S.K. Coal and Lignite Resources of India,2000, 41-43.
Biswas, S. K., Indian J. Petrol. Geol., 1995, 4, 1–23.
http://www.cmpdi.nic.in/cbm.htm
http://www.iisc.ernet.in/currsci/jun25/articles15.htm

http://envfor.nic.in/cpcb/newsletter/coal/cmetha.html

http://www.indianraj.com/2006/07/coalbed_methane_cbm_indias_fut.html

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thunder and Lightning killing people in Jharkhand State of India.

Thunder and Lightning killing people in Jharkhand State of India.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Figure 1: Lightning clouds being built over Ranchi city.


Eight people died and two others were wounded by lightning in three districts of Jharkhand this week. Every week people are being killed by lightning in Jharkhand state of India. On 4th October A 12-year-old boy was killed and 25 others injured today when lightning struck at Islamnagar village in Jharkhand's Lohardagga district.
The lightning struck when the children were playing on the street at about 12 noon..The boy died on the spot, while the injured people, including 14 male and rest women and children, were admitted to Lohardagga Sadar Hospital.
On October 2 five people were killed and four others injured Friday evening when lightning struck a hut in which they had taken shelter in a Jharkhand village. The incident took place in Kambo village, about 40 km from Ranchi city.
According to the police, nine people took shelter in the hut with a roof made of paddy husk.The lightning struck the hut and five people died on the spot while four were injured.
This year till now more than 70 people have been killed hundreds injured. In the year 2007 more than 150 people died including 5 children of Ranchi city. This natural disaster is gradually increasing from last several years. The weather gods, it seems, have crushed Jharkhand. If heat stroke was not enough, then lightning has emerged as a big killer in the state.

While the state government is perturbed, people get mortally scared when discharged electricity. Unlike heat waves which is more severe during summer, lightning strikes have taken place at alarming regularity in almost all parts of the state.

Mainly high elevated places are prone to lightning in Jharkhand, such as isolated trees or tall buildings and, of course, lightning conductors. In Jharkhand people who shelter beneath trees during storm are often at severe risk of a lightning strike.

From six different types of lightning, Fork Lightning is very frequent in the state.

The plateau region of Jharkhand contains high amount of Iron stone in the rocks and soils. According to the recent studies lightning has been used as a naturally occurring instrument for studying the electrical nature of the ground. There have been numerous ancient observations based on these studies, however “few modern studies exist to indicate that soils of high conductivity (e.g. marshes) are lightning-prone; that ironstone outcrops attract lightning.

In Jharkhand forest areas are more prone to lightning. Trees are frequent conductors of lightning to the ground. Since sap is a poor conductor, its electrical resistance causes it to be heated explosively into steam, which blows off the bark outside the lightning's path.

From past several years the climate of Jharkhand has changed a lot from bad to worse. Ranchi which was earlier the summer capital of the Bihar and Jharkhand state united, is now under the impact of global warming or say regional warming. One of the major cause of global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Models have been developed that predict atmospheric increases in CO2. One such model predicts that a doubling of CO2could increase the amount of lightning occurrences by 30–77% .

The number of lightning deaths in the state has almost doubled in the past several years. Add to this the hundreds who sustain injuries and the loss of cattle and property annually. And, you would know why panic sets in when people in Jharkhand see the magnificent flashes with thundering sounds on the sky.

Thunder and lightning are probably the most obvious and dramatic features of common storms. Although there is still no clear agreement on how lightning is formed it is believed that it’s largely due to collisions between ice crystals.

As floods ,earthquakes, cyclone, drought, hailstorms, tsunami figure in the list of natural calamities in India, lightning should also be included in the list.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

JHARKHAND STATE OF INDIA WAS THE LANKA OF RAMAYANA?

JHARKHAND STATE OF INDIA WAS THE LANKA OF RAMAYANA?
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi
Breaking a tradition since the creation of Jharkhand state of India in 2000, Chief Minister Shibu Soren has refused to burn an effigy of demon king Ravana (king of ancient Sri Lanka), saying he was a "great scholar". In north India, Ravana's effigy is burnt on Vijay Dashmi festival , marking the end of Dusshera celebration and considered to symbolise victory of good over evil. "Soren declined to accept the invitation terming Ravana as Guru or teacher of his ancestors (Kulguru).Mr. Soren said how can one burn the effigy of Kulguru who is worshipped?" Since the creation of the state in November 2000, there was a tradition in Jharkhand that the chief minister sets the Ravana effigy on fire. Close associates of Soren say that Ravana and his forefathers were closely associated with the jungles of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Ravana was a Brahmin by caste and was revered by the people of the area. The term Ravana is a derogatory reference to him. His original name was Dasamukha which means bearer of ten heads. He plays a major role in Hindu mythology, especially in the Ramayana, where he is mainly depicted negatively as a brute and rapist, and most infamously as having kidnapped Rama's wife Sita and being killed by her husband. Ravana is also mentioned as a great scholar, a capable ruler and a devoted follower of Shiva, and he has his apologists and staunch devotees within the Hindu traditions.Recently a report was published in local news papers regarding finding air port build by the Ravana on the top of Trikoot Hills in Deogarh district of Jharkhand where Ravana used to visit for worshipping Lord Shiva.
According to other concept it is mentioned that the palace of Ravana was made of pure gold. Jharkhand was rich in gold deposits in ancient days. Probably gold used in the palace was brought from Jharkhand. So the palace must have been built here seeing the abundant presence of gold. People are still found panning gold from the sands of the local rivers after rainy season. At present many Indian news channels are searching the historical records of the Lord Ram and place of incidents in Ramayana in country of Sri Lanka as well as in India.
After the Ram Setu controversy many of us are showing interest regarding the existence of Lord Ram and his warriors. Recently I found an old research report in my Home Library. Report is regarding the site of the Lanka during the Ramayana age.
Report was published in the year 1971 in the National news paper dated 5/10/1971. According to the report Chotanagpur (Jharkhand State,India) was the Lanka of Ramayana. In other words Ravana lived in Jharkhand. Report has the opinion that the Ramayana belongs to early iron-age and the Lanka in the holy epic can not be the island of Ceylon (Lanka). According to report, the Lanka of the Ramayana was somewhere in the Chotanagpur Plateau (Ranchi and Hazaribag district) of Jharkhand State of India and the ´Vanaras´ and ´Raksasas´(demons) were the merely the Adivasis (tribe) of the area. Asurs were the early settlers in the Jharkhand. It was deduced from archaeological, geographical and botanical interpretation of the clues in the epics. The theory is that the story or the various incidents could have taken place in present Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand Plateau and Eastern Madhya Pradesh as early as 1,500 B.C.Report sited excavations at Kausambi, Prahladpur, Chirand, Sonpur etc. to reveal the existence of a settled way of life about circa 2,000-1,500 B.C. These earlier cultures were destroyed or displaced by an iron-manufacturing people as is evident from archaeological findings at Mahisadal and Rajar-Dhipi.
In Ranchi district alone are found Asur forts and cemeteries. Over a hundred villages scattered through this region have Asur sites of this "long ancient people", who were thought by the Mundas(type of tribe) as a tall, huge limbed race of Herculean strength, having a much higher civilization. Asur graves are in irregular order and are marked by the slabs. The roof stones are generally 8 feet and sometimes 10 to 12 feet long. Report concludes that the critical edition of Ramayana belongs to the early iron age. " this is amply proved by the repeated references to weapons of ´Kalayasa´, Karsayasa´ and ´Ayasa´ definitely means iron and not copper. At that time in Jharkhand iron smelting by the Asur tribes was flourishing industry. "The iron chest (box) with eight wheels in which the bow of Rudra was kept and which Rama alone could wield, requires highly advanced iron technology.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Palamau district in Jharkhand State of India faces famine from ancient periods?



Why Palamau district in Jharkhand State of India faces famine from ancient periods?
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi

Palamau district in Jharkhand State of India is reeling under drought. Crops have been destroyed and the region is facing a famine-like situation. In spite of heavy rains in its surrounding districts this year, Palamau district is devoid of sufficient rain. It has not only affected the crops but also depleted the ground water and well water forcing people to drink contaminated water.
Palamau is a district of Jharkhand state, India. The district lies between 23°50′ and 24°8′ north latitude and between 83°55′ and 84°30′ east longitude. It is bordered on the north by river Son and Bihar, on the east by districts of Chatra and Hazaribagh , on the south by Latehar District and on the west by Garhwa District.
The district covers an area of 5043 square kilometers and has a population of 1,533,176.
Daltonganj, situated on North Koel river in the district headquarters. The town is named after Colonel Dalton, Commissioner of Chhota Nagpur in 1861.
The district has been a chronic sufferer from famine, drought, and scarcity conditions from the ancient times. Floods are not a problem as the rivers are mostly hilly excepting Son which is a perennial river and occasionally creates havoc in certain pockets. Cyclones of major intensity are not known.

The Indian Irrigation Commission described Palamau as the driest and probably the poorest district of the province. The frequent draughts and famines or scarcity conditions that have visited this district within the last century support this observation. The district falls within the retreating range of the south-west monsoon and as such rainfall is wholly dependent upon local conditions and local winds which are seldom favourable to the district. Also due to the beautiful Netharhat hill ranges the area comes under rain shadow zone. Rain clouds moving towards Palamau district are trapped within this hills resulting scanty rainfall in the area.

Rain shadow is warm and dry because as moist air masses coming from the Chotanagpur plateau rise to the top of Netharhat hills the air cools and it's temperature decreases until it reaches it's dew point, the point at which the condenses as rain, and then falls either on the windward side or atop the hills. These results in heavy rainfall in the Netharhat area. This is called orographic lifting precipitation. The effect of this phenomenon is the creation of an arid region on the leeward side of hills. Also, the warm air absorbs moisture from the already dry and warm air . The land gets little precipitation because all the moisture is lost on the Netharhat hills. Furthermore, the warm air absorbs moisture from the already dry land.

Within the period of last century there have been famines in 1859-60, 1873-74, 1896-97, 1899-1900 and 1918-19 and there have been several years of scarcity up to 1956 and the worst of all was perhaps that of the year 1955.

The rainfall in Palamau is not only scanty but very capricious in its distribution. There are, it is true, a large number of rivers and streams in the district, but in most of them the supply of water diminishes rapidly or fails entirely soon after the end of the scanty rains.

From old records and reports it will appear that that in 1868 there was a failure of different crops and winter rice due to absence of rain and this caused a famine in 1869. the most affected areas were the north-east and north-west of the district and to a small extent the central areas. In 1873-74, there was again a failure of different local crops and there was a general famine affecting Japla and Belaunja in the north, Deogan and Untari in the extreme north-east and north-west. In 1896 there was again an unfavourable distribution of rain which led to the famine of 1897.
The southern part of this district which overgrown with thick forests and jungles gets more rainfall than the northern part which is almost a plain land bordering district of Gaya. Distribution of rain seems to have been more disturbed from the last five decades. One of the reasons may be the indiscriminate exploitation of forest.

The only solutions to fight such condition is to grow more forest and interlink the rivers through canals.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Earthquake Is Caused By The Rising of Land, Not Drifting of Land.

The Islands of Indonesia are continuously rising
Soon after Tsunami, which killed more than two and a half lakhs of people and had originated from the island, Sumatra, it was found out that, after the earthquake the north western part of the island simeulue, which was in that region had risen about three feet high above sea level. On account of this, a new shore had formed on the north western part of the island. In addition to that; the sea sponges which were on the sea bed were visible above the sea level!
Three months after the earthquake on 26th December, 2004, another quake occurred on 28th March 2005 after which simeulue was found to be four feet above sea level. Apart from this, for an area of about three hundred kilometers, sea sponges which are normally found below the sea could be seen from all visible areas!
Why did the island rise four feet above sea level ?
As the molten rock keeps cooling gradually, the rocky plates that are formed at different levels are of less thickness and density and they keep rising continuously.The main reason is that, when the molten rock cools, the water and hot gases get released and the rocky plates that are formed are of lesser thickness than the magma in which they formed. Water has a higher density and the ice cubes formed from it have a lower density and they tend to float on water Likewise, the molten rock material which has a higher density produces rocky plates which have a lower density and these move above sea level and form islands.When new plates are produced by the molten rock material, they start moving upwards thereby pushing the plates which were already formed. The plates suddenly start rising upwards due to intense pressure.Similar to the ripples that are formed and expanded when a plate of water is hit at the centre from below with a finger, when the island simeulue, which was found in the central part of the Indian Ocean suddenly rose up, the water was pushed aside in all directions and only this resulted in Tsunami.
The frequent occurrences of earthquakes and Tsunami in Indonesia are only due to the sudden rising of the islands.

But, the geologists have come up with a different explanation for the earthquakes which occur there. They say that, about six and a half crores of years ago, India was an island on the southern part of the equator. It moved slowly towards north and collided with Asia about five crores of years ago and it is still continuing its movement. The geologists also opine that due to this movement, when the indo-Australian plate suddenly went below the Burmese plate on December 26th, 2004, an earthquake occurred. There is no truth in what they say because even six and a half crores of years ago India had been part of Asia in the same place as it is found now.The fossils of mammals which lived in Asia six and a half years ago have been excavated in the form of bones by Professor Ashok Sahani of Punjab University and Professor G.V.R. Prasad of Jammu University in the village of Naskal at Andhra Pradesh and they prove that the above statement is true. So, as per the researchers’ opinion, India had not been an island on the southern part of the equator about six and a half crores of years agoSo, it is proved that even six and a half crores of years ago India had been part of Asia in the same place as it is found now and is not moving in the north eastern direction. Therefore the indo-Australian plate did not go suddenly below the Burmese plate. So the earth quakes on 26 -12 -2004 and 28 – 3 -2005 and the Tsunami are only the result of the rising of the island, simeulue, above its original level.
Subject: Rising of the earth’s crust is responsible for producing earthquakes, Submission of report for publishing.
Earthquake is caused due to the movement of the land is a myth.
The most important thing that is missing in this view is that there is no explanation for why earthquake occurs in the centre of the land instead of the peripheral area. Actually the land is rising in different places. This is the reason why earthquakes occur only in the central parts of the land. To be specific, after an earthquake occurred on September 30th of 1993, in the village named Killari, it was found that the land had risen about three feet in height. This shows that the rise of the land is the cause of the earthquake.
‘Reasons for the Rise of the Earth’s Crust’
Earthquake is the effect of the rise of the land.
On September 30th 1993, the earthquake that hit the village, killari, situated in central part of India resulted in the death of more than eight thousand people and raised the land surface about three feet high. This elevation was seen in an area of around two kilometers.
Why did the earthquake occur?
The quake occurred only in killari, situated in central India and left two kilometers of land area raised. This proves that the earthquake occurred only due to the rise of the land.Apart from this, the pictures taken by the satellite before the quake showed that the temperature of killari had also risen and the pictures taken after the quake showed it to be normal. After the earthquake occurred, on the borders of Andhra and Karnataka white colored smoke emitted from the ground.
Why did the land rise? Why was the temperature more? Why did the land emit white colored smoke?

We know that the molten rock material called magma is found inside the earth as we have seen it coming out through volcanoes. In the same way, when the molten rock, lava flows on the earth’s surface, we can see the condensed steam and other gases in the form of white colored smoke.As the water and other hot gases are eliminated as steam, the molten rock cools down and turned in to rock. In the same way when the molten rock inside the earth starts cooling, water and Other hot gases come out in the form of white smoke. Due to this, the temperature of the land rises.Moreover when the molten rock cools and as the water and hot gases get released, the rocky plates that are formed are of less thickness. For example: water has a higher density and the ice cubes formed from it have a lower density and float on water. Likewise, the molten rock material which has a higher density produces rocky plates which have a lower density and move above the level of the molten rock. In the same way, when new plates are produced by the molten rock material, they start moving upwards there by pushing the plates which were already formed. On account of this movement, the edges of the plates rub against each other thereby causing earthquakes.For example, in 1356 an earthquake occurred in the city Basel in Switzerland which is situated in central Europe. In the same city, an organization which produces electricity using the heat from underground, drilled two holes of five meters each on the earth in the year 2006.The project was to send cold water through the first hole which would be changed into steam using the heat of the molten rock and pushed out through the second hole and by rotating dynamos; this would be converted into electricity. But, on the eighth day after the water was sent inside the earth, in the same place, the Richter scale recorded an earthquake with an intensity of 3.4. Even if atom bombs are tested underground, earthquakes do not occur. How could the water which seeped inside produce an earthquake? This clearly shows that the water which seeped inside the earth cooled the molten rock which in turn formed new plates that rose up and caused the earthquake.
Volcanic activity in central Europe.
Vogtland, which is situated in central Europe , had often been experiencing a number of minor earthquakes.In the same place, a researcher by the name Dr,Karin brauer collected the bubbles which came out along with an underground spring in a marshy area and through his research, found out that gases were emitted from a volcano. Based on his research, he says that when the molten rock rises, the pressure of the gases increases and this results in the formation of cracks on rocks which may ultimately result in earthquakes.But for millions of years in the past, these gases have been coming out of the earth. Apart from this, there are spaces for these gases to be eliminated. We have already seen this fact and the gases do not have enough pressure to bring about an earthquake.A few years ago from the mountainous part of Nilgiris in India , smoke were seen emanating from earth, but fortunately no earthquake was caused. Likewise, Matsushiro in central Japan also experienced a number of mild quakes. To find out the reason for these quakes, a researcher by the name yoshida collected Water from the hot water springs found there and through experimentation discovered that the water was from the molten rock found underground.So, she surmises that,” The water which is underground comes out with great pressure and this produces cracks on the rocky plates and this results in earthquakes”. But, the water and gases which are underground have been surfacing through the spaces found between the rocky plates for millions of years in the past. So, the reason for the continuous tremors and the elevation of land is only due to the slow rising of the rocky plates.
For example Wyoming found in central part of North America has more than three hundred hot water springs.
Due to the deposit of sulphur from the water, the rocks in that area appear yellowish in colour. So, the area of hot water springs is referred to as yellow Stone Park . Each year that place experiences about two thousand mild tremors. Between January, 2008 and March 2008, 287 tremors have rocked the place. Moreover it has been found out through satellite research that the land area of 60 miles is continuously raising. To be specific, starting from 2004 till 2006, the land area has been rising at the rate of 2.8 inches every year and has risen to a height of seven inches in three years. It is still rising.But research scholars say that, it is only the effect of the expansion of the molten rock due to heat.
But the surfacing of the water only shows that the molten rock is cooling.
So the release of water and the gases from the molten rock cools the molten rock. This results in the formation of new plates and the rising in the land level in the central part of the continents and results in tremors in those areas only.
There will be an earthquake tomorrow.
One week before an earthquake struck the city of haicheng on 30th February, 1975, on the north eastern part of China , it was officially announced that a quake would strike the city.People abandoned their houses and assembled in an open area in the snow fall. For one week nobody did any work. As announced there was an earthquake of 7.3 magnitudes which was recorded on the Richter scale.Two thousand and thirteen people lost their lives. It was estimated that if precaution had not been taken, the death toll would have exceeded one and a half lakhs! The whole world looked at China with surprise and when asked, they said that for the past one year slight tremors were occurring and they were gradually getting intensified. They also explained that, during the previous week there was tremendous change in the underground water table.But, in the next year, the earthquake which struck the city of Tang Shan situated in the north eastern part of China killed two and a half lakhs of people and severely wounded more than one and a half lakhs of people.The Chinese geologists said that on this occasion there were no preceding tremors. During the earthquake in haicheng, sulphur gas and in Tang Shan carbon-di-oxide were eliminated from underground. Regarding this incident, Carol Raymond is a geophysicist at NASA's, said “Only if we know how an earthquake is caused, we can warn about it in advance”.
How Does an Earthquake occur?
When the rocky plates under the ground rise and their edges rub with each other, an earthquake is caused. Moreover, the water and the gases found between them are under great pressure when these plates rise and so come above the surface of the earth.Hence, it is understood that the hot gases and water which come out of the earth and the temperature changes are the most authentic warnings of an approaching earthquake. So, by closely and continuously monitoring the temperature changes through satellite observations and finding out the depth and temperature in which the molten rock is found in a particular place, the occurrence of an earthquake can be predicted in advance. Based on it, if precautions are taken, great loss to human life can be prevented.
Continents are not drifting, but rising...
In 1835, when scientist Charles Darwin came to Galapagos Island which is located at Pacific Ocean, thousand km far away from South America , he found giant tortoises. He was surprised to see the presence of the tortoise because each one would weigh around 250 kilo, which look like a rock and those tortoises couldn’t float in the sea even for a second.According to the researchers, these tortoises might come from South America by floating by means of tree branches for two weeks when storm hit. But the tree branches can not float in the same dimension and it will roll and flow. Meantime, these tortoises have no fingers in their legs like elephants. And so, it is not possible for these animals to escape from falling in to the river, when the tree branches roll and flow... It is interrogated such as how this animal could survive for two week with out any food and water. The researchers explained that these animals have the ability to store the enormous fats and water in their body. So they manage to live for two week with out having any food and water.Moreover, Trevor worth, one of the researchers, has taken the jaw and leg bones of a rat like animal which lived 10 million years ago in the New Zealand , An island which situated two thousand kilometers far away from Australia continent. This animal has a bulged structure on the upper part of the leg bone. So it is found that its locomotion was hopping like kangaroo. Therefore it is impossible for the animal to reach the island by floating tree branches, According to Michael archer, a paleontology researcher.The researchers said that the tortoises had taken two weeks to reach the Galapagos Island , a thousand kilometer away from South America , by means of floating tree branches. Similarly, it would take at least four weeks far the rat to arrive New Zealand by means of floating tree branches, which is located two thousand kilometer away from Australia .Could a small animal like rat live for a long period with out having any food and water? Then how the animal reached New Zealand ? Hear the only possibility is extreme low sea level and exposed land connection, on which the animal migration took place, to reach Remote Island From the Australian continent. Moreover dinosaur’s bones were also found in the island called Chatham which is located near the New Zealand . Indicate the dinosaur’s migration also took place between the continents due to the low sea level of ten thousand feet.But the presence of closely related dinosaur’s bones on different continents leads to think other researchers differently. They think that all the continents were once jointly present and later separated and drifting apart. But the ancient low sea level of ten thousand feet is the only possible reason for the spreading of ancient animals on other continents.At the same time the presence of fossils of sea animals such as whales and ammonites indicates that all the continents were once lie under the sea and later rose above sea level. And this rising of land masses caused the earthquake.
Contributing Writer Scientist, G. Ponmudi. Chennai I am working as a junior assistant in the health department. And my qualification is Bsc (zoology). I have been working on earthquake research for the past five years. g.ponmudi@yahoo.com