Tamil Nadu is reeling under a severe drought and this requires immediate help and solutions, but the desperation of the state government to be seen as proactive seems to have suspended common sense among some ministers and officials.
Tamil Nadu Co-operatives Minister Sellur Raju had an innovative and flabbergasting idea: setting afloat Rs. 10 lakh worth of thermocol taped together on the Vaigai dam reservoir to prevent the water from evaporating!
You heard that right. A minister wanted to float tons of thermocol on the Vaigai to prevent water loss. Did it work, you ask. Well, what do you think?
To be sure, this is really a scientifically accepted method to save water from evaporating from ponds, as you can read here. But, it is the way the idea was implemented on a large water surface which resulted in this entertaining episode. A good idea gone bad.
In the video obtained by The News Minute, the minister can be seen stepping into the water with his veshti (dhoti) rolled up, and pushing sheets of thermocol into the water body. Behind him, are the officials, some of whom seem to recognise that this is going to be a failed experiment, but some, including Madurai Collector Veera Raghava Rao seem to be reassuring each other that the ingenious experiment will eventually work.
Some men got into waist-deep water and placed the sheets, only to see the strong winds tear and blow the sheets away.
When the sheets of thermocol refused to float on the water body, coracles were sent in with fishermen to place them at the centre of the dam. Those sheets too apparently returned to the shore faster than the men who went to place them got back. Yep, mega fail.
The New Indian Express reports that only after reporters arrived 67kms away from Madurai to the spot of the great experiment were they informed of what was actually going to happen here.
Speaking to the media, the minister said that as an experiment, the idea was to float thermocol in a 200 sqft area to see if it can prevent water from evaporation. He said that this method has been implemented in other countries. "For now, we have arranged this experiment at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh," the minister told reporters at the spot.
Watch the video here: