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Madhya Pradesh ‘lava’ flow mystery unsolved

Mystery shrouds the ground emissions that occurred Tuesday in the industrial area in Sendhwa block of Madhya Pradesh’s Badwani district. Activists contend that it was the result of increased seismic activity following construction of large dams, but district officials and geologists feel that nothing could be said with certainty until a chemical examination of the fluid that issued from the ground was completed. Sendhwa falls under the catchment area of the Narmada River on which Sardar Sarovar Dam Project is constructed. Some factory workers in the industrial area heard an explosion Tuesday afternoon on a vacant plot and saw a gusher rising in the air. Thinking that a transformer had exploded, some people went to the spot where they saw a one-and-a-half feet wide and eight-inch deep crater with reddish lava gushing out of it. The amber lava continued to ooze for over an hour before cooling down. The molten fluid reportedly heated up the vicinity creating panic among the factory owners. Some of the eyewitnesses said that at one point the lava gushed up to a height of five to six feet and burned the grass about 50 feet away. The flow stopped at around 4 p.m. after about two to five litres of the lava had oozed out. The spot is next to an electric pole carrying an 11 KV power line and some MPEB experts say that such a phenomenon was possible due to high voltage current running overhead. "The Narmada valley has been a geological fault zone and the Sardar Sarovar dam is situated in the ‘triple junction’ area of fault lines - one coming from Aravalli ranges and other from the Western Ghats, apart from the Narmada Fault zone. The Dam has increased the seismic activity in the area. There have been instances of tremors in Khandwa region. Strange noises like bomb explosions were heard about six months ago at Kochda village of Dharampuri tehsil in Dhar district also. This area too got submerged by the SSP reservoir.

See Archive Report:
Narmada: A history of controversy

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