Mandya: Mandya Deputy Commissioner N. Manjushree has banned mining, stone quarrying and all other allied activities in 20-kilometre radius around the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam. The DC will issue an order in this regard in the next two days. A decision to this effect has been taken at an emergency meeting of officials chaired by DC at her office yesterday.
Speaking at the meeting, she said that the ban has been imposed in view of Karnataka State Natural Disasters Monitoring Committee (KSNDMC) recommending the Mandya District Administration to check damages and fractures in the Dam structures in the wake of high-intensity blasts in the mining areas around the Dam.
The DC had received the reports that usage of high-intensity explosives is damaging houses and buildings in the vicinity and they are developing cracks, apart from causing air pollution.
KSNDMC Director G.S. Srinivasa Reddy had submitted a report on Sept. 25 recommending the Mandya District Administration to take precautionary measures to control quarrying and mining activities within 15 to 20 kilometres of the KRS Dam and ensure the safety of the Dam that is the lifeline of the region, Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu.
The district has also received the reports illegal stone quarry unit operators carrying out their operations, blatantly violating Section 144 imposed in 20-kilometre radius after banning the usage of high-intensity explosives for quarrying activities.
Section 144 has been imposed in KRS and surrounding villages as supporters of illegal quarry operators are involved in rioting, causing damage to public property and obstructing officials’ duty. The DC asked the officials to check such illegal activities besides putting an end to all mining and illegal stone quarrying.
She asked officials to prepare a detailed report of damages to KRS Dam caused by such mining activities besides the usage of high-intensity blasts after discussing with State Water Department officials. The District Administration has also constituted three teams comprising various department officials to check cases filed by the public regarding the damages caused by illegal mining.
She also said various people-friendly organisations, farmer leaders and public had also complained about illegal mining around KRS Dam by writing letters and grabbing the attention of the government through media.
The DC said that she had also received reports of illegal stone quarrying in the backwaters of KRS Dam in K.R. Nagar taluk of Mysuru district. A letter will be written to Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru recommending banning mining there, the DC said.
Superintendent of Police Shivaprakash Devaraj, Mines and Geology Department Officer Nagabhushan, Forest and other department officials were present at the meeting.
Task Force Committee asked to assess damages to KRS Dam:
Speaking to Star of Mysore, District Mines and Geology Department officer Nagabhushan said that a detailed and comprehensive report will be prepared on the damages caused by mining activities to KRS Dam.
The Task Force Committee headed by the department chiefs of Revenue, Forest, Mines and Geology has been constituted by the DC to prepare this report. Three batches of official team will prepare this report as per the DC’s direction.
Mandya Superintendent Police Shivaprakash Devaraj said that the Police had received information that illegal stone quarrying activities carried out by some operators despite banning the use of high-intensity explosives around KRS Dam.
Officials had cracked down on illegal stone quarry units at three places in Pandavapura taluk and had booked cases on some people for violating Section 144.
Police will take stern action on illegal mining activities once the Deputy Commissioner issues the mining ban orders, he said.
Huge appreciation : Imposing mining ban around KRS by Mandya DC N. Manjushree has received huge appreciation from people of various walks of life. District Raitha Sangha President Suresh Shambunahalli welcomed the announcement.
“We have fought for more than 20 years to protect KRS Dam and have been behind the authorities to stop mining activities around the Dam that is the lifeline of the region. Now the DC has decided to impose a blanket ban. Our only concern is that the ban should not be eyewash,” he said.