In a significant development, the taluk administration here admitted that illegalities have been thriving at a few stone extraction units and launched an initiative to curb the same. A quarry labourer from Kollegal of Chamarajanagar had succumbed to injuries in Channenahalli near Srirangapatna and one of his co-workers suffered severe injuries following an illegally carried out stone-explosion at a quarry.
The incident had triggered widespread protests against the district administration’s failure to prevent such illegal acts. Following criticism, officials were instructed to look into the same.
The taluk administration said that four stone extraction units — D.K.C. Stone Crusher, Mallesh Stone Crusher, Sumathi Stone Crusher and Sri Rama Stone Crusher — at Ragi Muddana Halli in the taluks were extracting stones through gelatine-blasts, neglecting the safety of the villagers.
Nagesh, Mandya tahsildar, in a communiqué said that gelatine explosions were affecting routine activities in the vicinity, besides creating air/noise pollution. There are chances that such blasting could cause death. Consequently, citing these reasons, Mr. Nagesh imposed a prohibition order that bans stone mining around Ragi Muddana Halli to end unrestricted stone mining activities.
The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), which has been demanding a blanket ban on the stone extraction has welcomed the move.
Many influential persons, even from the family of Minor Irrigation Minister C.S. Puttaraju, have been indulging in illegal stone extraction activities in the district. The KRRS has been fighting against it for over a decade, said Nagaraj, a KRRS leader. He hoped it whould not remain on paper. Illegal stone extraction has been thriving in Pandavapura, Srirangapatna and Mandya taluks, he said.