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>blasts blown out of proportion

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>THE heat was stifling. Sweat rolled down in drops and showed through T-shirts. In the deep Lawachhara rain forest, the workers in bright red overalls and white helmets were busy securing the explosive line. And then there was nothing else to do but wait. The big yellow remote explosion box with a long antennae lay on the ground, occasionally the wireless fixed to it cackling–the man at the other end of a wave recording van somewhere in a far away tea garden called for patience. Somewhere the explosive lines had been disrupted, Inam Ahmed writes in The Daily Star.
A good forest is never silent. Lawachhara, one of the rare rain forests of the country, was full of noises of all kinds. Thousands of cicadas were producing ear-piercing noises, rubbing their body parts together. Sometimes it sounded like the sawmill, then it was thousands of jet engines revving, again it turned into mysterious noises coming from space. We checked on the sound machine–66 decibels. A hill myna was out there making loud calls to mimic at least six different birds. These are the rascals who always mimic others and hardly make their own calls. A green-billed malkoha cackled loudly and then went silent. A rustle in the hill only about 60 metres away revealed a pig-tailed monkey–big and proud–foraging the forest bed.
Two hours went and still no news from the recording van. Then the radio cackled again and the “shooter”–the main man who detonates the explosives–quickly got up on his feet. He quickly attached two wires to the big yellow box and checked on the instruments. Then we heard the first sound–a dull boom somewhere in the forest, then another and another.
Chevron’s 3D seismic survey had started. Earlier in the day, we saw the explosion sites like small domes of about two feet in diameter where the earth had been bored up to 70 feet to set the explosives.


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