Week-long trial blasts at quarries around KRS Dam from July 25
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Week-long trial blasts at quarries around KRS Dam from July 25

July 21, 2022

Five places identified for mining explosions by CSIR-CIMFR Jharkhand team

Mysore/Mysuru: The stage is set for trial blasts to study the impact of blasting and deep-earth mining activities around the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Mandya district. With the conduct of the trial blast, the controversy over the illegal stone and granite mining activity and its threat to the Dam is likely to be settled.

The trial blasts will be conducted from July 25 to 31 and the Mandya District Administration is making all preparations to conduct the blasts.

Confirming this to Star of Mysore this morning, Mandya Deputy Commissioner (DC) S. Aswathi said that a team of scientists from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CSIR-CIMFR) Jharkhand will conduct the blasts and study the impact of the explosions on the Dam structure.

“I do not have exact information on the number of scientists who will come to Mandya to conduct the trial blasts. But we have got information from CISIR-CIMFR that a team would go for trial blasts from July 25 and we have made preparations for the same. The Department of Mines and Geology will lead the operations,” the DC said.

Padmaja, a Senior Geologist from the Department, told reporters that the date has been fixed for the blasts and preparations had been made. The CSIR-CIMFR office is located at Dhanbad in Jharkhand and routinely takes up multi-disciplinary research on the mechanisation and automation of mining activities with state-of-the-art technologies in the mining industry. 

2021 site visit by experts

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The Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) has already paid Rs. 22 lakh to CSIR-CIMFR as a fee for blasts. On March 4, 2021, a CSIR-CIMFR team, comprising Senior Principal Scientist  Dr. C. Sawmliana and Senior Technical Officer Rakesh Kumar Singh, visited the Dam and studied the structure, earth’s surface and its rocky surroundings.

The team inspected the crushing units at a radial distance of 20 kilometres from the KRS Dam to ascertain the mining impact on the Dam structure following complaints that the Wadiyar-period Dam structure is endangered due to rampant mining.

The team had also inspected mining sites at Neelanakoppal in Srirangapatna taluk, Baby Betta in Pandavapura taluk and Bannangadi mining areas. Though the trial blasts were scheduled for last year, the COVID-19 pandemic had delayed  the same.

Also, there was severe opposition to the trial blasts from farmers who are opposing any move that threatened the safety of the Dam. They demanded a blanket ban on any sort of mining activity within the 20-km radius of the Dam.

Three months for report

Sources told SOM that the CSIR-CIMFR team will arrive in Mandya on July 24 to conduct the trial blasts. The team has already indicated five places from where they will conduct the trial blasts and accordingly, the Mandya District Administration will cordon off the places and provide the necessary equipment to the team.

Once the blasts are conducted, it will take over three months for the CSIR-CIMFR to send the report and findings to the Mandya Administration. The report will assume significance as it will be a benchmark for all mining and quarrying activities around KRS Dam. The report will also assist policymakers to formulate rules of mining around other reservoirs in Karnataka.

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