Serial blasts by scientists damage houses in Hassan

100-foot deep wells left in the open; residents fear harm to children

dangerous: A ditch left open after carrying out explosions in Hiraganahalli near Kattaya, Hassan district.  DH PhotoSerial blasts caused by researchers of National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, who had arrived at neighbouring villages to undertake seismic studies has resulted in damages to houses in Hiraganahalli, Kattaya hobli, in the taluk.

The researchers had selected a few villages in Mandya and Hassan to conduct seismic studies. Having obtained permission from the Central government, they informed the deputy commissioner and began their work about 20 days back.

But, they failed to give information to local residents about the work being undertaken.
After digging a 100-foot-deep well, they filled it with explosives.

Later, they calculated the shock waves caused by the explosion using modern devices. The team is said to have to conducted serial blasts in the village.

Initially, residents had raised objection to the work being carried out secretly.
A majority of the explosions were carried out near houses and farms. When a few people had enquired, the researchers said that the Hassan-Kodagu road was being laid.
A few days later, they brought a borewell drilling machine and started digging the land.

False replies

When questioned by farmers, they said, “There are traces of petrol here.” When a few didn’t allow them to dig on their land, the researchers allegedly threatened the ryots saying that they had the authority from the Centre to carry out the studies.

After complaining to the tahsildar, the people from the institute promised to give 25 sacks of cement and Rs 5,000. But what can we do with such a meagre amount? a resident asks.

The walls of several houses have cracks due to the blasts carried out by the institute, including that of Nagaraj, Nagesh and Sampath Kumar. A deep ditch has been formed in the land of farmer Ravi due to the drilling carried out by researchers.
The farmers have urged for compensation for the misdeeds of NGRI.

DC’s directions

Deputy commissioner Dr K G Jagadish said he has directed the tahsildar to prepare a report and submit it to the government about the losses incurred by farmers in Shettyhalli. Village accountant and revenue officials would visit the spot and provide inputs to the report, he added. If local residents give a written complaint, suitable action would be taken, he promised.

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