From our Special Correspondent
Silchar, August 17: Prof. Somth Dasgupta, Vice-Chancellor of Assam University, described Indian subcontinent as most susceptible to earthquakes while delivering the second ‘Pritam Bhattacharjee Memorial Lecture’ on the subject “Frequent Earthquakes in Indian Subcontinent” on Sunday in the Gurucharan College auditorium. The Pritam Bhattacharjee memorial lecture is organized every year by Keshab Smarak Samiti. According to him, this north east region as a whole is on seismic belt. The tremor in Nepal last April was felt in the region. It was something unimagible how “We could also be affected. Prof. Dasgupta, an eminent geologist, giving a background said 25 crore years ago, the world was one continent. Lot of experiments and evidences go to prove that it was a super continent and the Indian zone was described as Pangea. With the convulsions and geophysical movements, the world began to be fragmented. There was movement of mass earth and Indian subcontinent faced collision with Asian and European plate. “Barak Valley is very close to that area of tectonic movement and that makes it prone to tremors”, Prof. Dasgupta added.
Tiddin in Aruchal Pradesh is near the spot where Asia and Europe collided, Prof. Dasgupta pointed out. He revealed how India continues to move towards Tibet at the rate of 18 mm every year. Such movement leads to corrosion and release of high velocity energy. The satellite global positioning situation explains how north east region is most affected and with that Barak Valley too.Continuing, he said this valley is located down the Shillong-Haflong plate and quite turally according to the process, there is frequent collision and cracks 18 to 20 km down the earth. The last earthquake in the valley on January 13, 2011 was due to Dawki fault in Meghalaya. Geologists have identified it and expressed their helplessness to do anything. Being in seismic zone, Barak Valley has been hit by earthquakes several times. Prof. Somth Dasgupta said though earthquakes of low magnitude occur now and then, it has no deep impact as the energy released goes down gradually. The tremor that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 indicated that the Himalayan state was moving from north to south which is 4 meters away. Mount Everest has drifted 3 meters away towards Chi. He made it clear that energy released during corrosion is more powerful than hydrogen and atom bomb.
Quite strangely when Barak Valley felt the tremor on the day of Nepal quake, Assam University area, 20 km away from here, did not come under the wave of tremor. Can earthquake be predicted? It can never be, Prof. Dasgupta said. The north east has been put under zone 5 being highly prone to earthquake. He cited the instances of Taiwan and Japan which are affected every day. But, they have their own planning where houses and bridges are made earthquake proof. Since earthquake cannot be predicted or prevented, the eminent geologist said there are three ways to meet the hazards of tremor. Besides preparations and planning, emergency response, recovery and rebuilding have to be in order, he added to say. He gave the example of Japan to show how wrong planning affected the Fukushima nuclear reactor during the Tsumi. It could sustain earthquake of 8 Richter scale, but Tsumi went beyond that.
By emergency response, Prof. Dasgupta was referring to tural disaster magement planned by the central and state governments. He said often preparation and planning go wrong. The best way to save ourselves from earthquakes which might occur anytime is to build houses according to the laid down specifications which unfortutely are not followed. Hence, during disaster, losses and damages are beyond measurement. He said people die not due to earthquake but manmade buildings and bridges.
Pritam Bhattacharjee who met most unfortute death 3 years ago was a brilliant student of physics and his research work could have made a mark. In his memory, a benevolent fund has been created to give away prizes to students of merit and talent as well as fincial help to those who are in dire need. It is known as Pritam Bhattacharjee Memorial Fund. Prof. Dipankar Kar, head, department of English, Gurucharan College, Dr. Sankar Bhattacharjee, father of Pritam, Satli Bhattacharjee, a classmate of Pritam, recalled his commitment and dedication to the study of physics. It was both his passion and obsession. All of them said Pritam would remain a source of inspiration and encouragement to the students. Prof. Dipankar Kar said Pritam would always kindle the mind and soul of students and quoted the famous lines of Tennyson, “He seems to be so near, yet so far”. Satli too quoted the English poet, “Time marches on, but memory stays.” 7 students of merit received prizes, certificates and citations under the memorial fund on the occasion.