Quarry work must abide by Supreme Court rules, says DC

Stone-crushing units may be moved 40kms from residential areas

In response to the growing public concern over the close proximity of mining to residential areas, Deputy Commissioner Dr D S Vishwanath said that all quarry work should follow rules set by the Supreme Court.

Addressing a meeting of officers of various department and owners of stone crushers, Vishwanath said that members of the public have faced health and infrastructure problems when mining and stone-crushing is carried out near residential areas. “People of  some villages have even staged protests. So the quarrying should be undertaken in accordance with the rules, which will not inconvenience people,” he said.

“According to the Supreme Court, mining should not take place within two kms of public places. But many mining companies have flouted the rules and are conducting quarrying within 400 metres. So, it is better to moving mining concerns to a safer distance,” he added.

In addition, Vishwanath said that the Supreme Court rules dictated that stone crusher units should be at least 40 kms away from schools, taluk offices, nemmadi centres, government hostels, temples, tanks and water sources, government hospitals and forest zones. The court has also specified that there should be a 50 km buffer zone between two crushing units. “If these rules are followed, no action is needed against owners of the crushers and it will not cause harm to people,” he added.

Hindrance

Owners of stone crushers expressed fear that the directive will result in a loss of business as crushing units had incurred large set up costs. 

Vishwanath said that sufficient time will be given to shift the units, after a suitable new mining location is identified. We will think about giving a subsidy in accordance with rules, he added.

Marimadaiah, officer at Pollution Control Board officer; Sampath Krishna, scientist at Mining and geology Department and others were present when Vishwanath made his statement.

Action soon

Speaking to Deccan Herald after a meeting with stone crusher owners, Vishwanath said that information on suitable places for mining has been collected with the help of Natural Resources Data Management System.

“A decision will be taken on allotting places for mining after reviewing region-wise details. Complete information will be gathered within five days and necessary action will be taken.” 

He added that all planning will be conducted in a way to avoid inconveniencing people and owners of stone crushers. The Supreme Court directions are to be followed when the plan is made a reality.

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