Trial blasts near KRS suspended
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Trial blasts near KRS suspended

July 26, 2022

Mandya: After stiff opposition by members of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and other organisations, who staged demonstrations at the main gate of KRS Dam on Monday with ‘Go back’ slogan targeting the team of Scientists from Jharkhand’s Dhanbad-based Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CSIR- CIMFR), who had arrived at KRS to conduct a week-long trial tests to study the impact of stone quarrying at Bebi Betta, which is in the vicinity of KRS Dam in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district, the District Administration late yesterday decided to suspend the trial blasts at the site.

The District Administration’s decision is seen as a victory of sorts for farmer organisations and other groups which are vehemently opposing stone mining and quarrying around KRS Dam.

Upon learning that CIMFR team of scientists were preparing to carry out trial blasts on Tuesday, the farmers had launched a night-long stir in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office at Mandya. The DC, who held a meeting with the protesting farmers and top District officials, including Mandya SP N. Yatish, declared late night on Monday that the trial blasts have been suspended for now, following which the farmers called off their stir.

KRRS President Badagalapura Nagendra and other office-bearers took part in the meeting. The farmers are said to have rejected the Mandya DC’s suggestion to allow the team of Scientists to carry out their work on Tuesday. However, the  farmers insisted that the team of scientists return to Jharkhand and after a long deliberation, the DC declared that the trial blasts are suspended for now, it is learnt. 

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Even as the DC was holding the meeting, Mine owners and Quarry workers raised slogans demanding that the trial blasts be conducted as scheduled.

The four-member team of Scientists from Jharkhand, which arrived at Bebi Betta, tried to identify the spots for conducting trial blasts, when pro and anti groups staged demonstrations. Amid the demonstrations, the team is said to have marked five spots for conducing trial blasts, with Police security in place. The team has planned to drill holes of 7 to 20 feet deep at 5 identified spots.

Meanwhile, taking note of the developments regarding the conduct of trial blasts, erstwhile Mysore Royal family member Pramoda Devi Wadiyar on Monday submitted a memorandum through her lawyer Narendra D.V. Gowda to Mandya DC Aswathi, seeking to halt the trial blasts at Bebi Betta. Stating that 1,600 acres of land in Bebi Betta belonged to Mysore Royal family, she urged the Mandya District Administration not to conduct trial blasts.

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