Closure of quarries around TG Halli ordered

Closure of quarries around TG Halli ordered

60 million litres of water is pumped everyday from reservoir

Closure of quarries around TG Halli ordered

 A file photo of Thippagondanahalli reservoir. For, the Thippagondanahalli (T G Halli) reservoir, which caters to the water requirements of many parts in these areas is rapidly becoming free from the pollution caused by the quarries which flourished around its catchment area.

Rajajinagar, Vijayanagar and West of Chord areas are supplied 60 million litres of water per day from this reservoir, located 35 kms from the City, on Magadi Road. Unfortunately, over 400 quarries mushroomed in T G Halli’s catchment area, that extends from Nandi Hills to the reservoir, due to the boom in the construction industry a decade ago. Illegal quarrying posed a serious threat to the reservoir, located at the confluence of the Rivers Arkavathy and Kumudavathi.

Structure weakened

The regular blasting at the quarries, many of them functioning within a radius of 5 kms here, held the threat of weakening the structure of the dam. The chemicals used for the purpose also posed a threat to the quality of water. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had also highlighted the danger posed to the dam by the quarries  through its reports. The Lokayukta had directed the Mines and Geology department way back as 2003 not to renew licences for quarries after expiry of lease period. The ISRO had also brought to light the threat posed to the dam through satellite images, said an official of the Mines and Geology Department.


“The Mines and Geology Department has ensured the closure of 395 quarries operating in the catchment area during the last five years,” said a top source in the department.
Thirty more quarries are still functioning in the area and they have been permitted to operate till 2010. “However, the department is speeding up the process and taking steps to ensure that all quarries are shut by the end of 2009 itself,” he added.

A top BWSSB official stated that quarry industry had been indulging in hard lobbying over the years to ensure extension of their licence period.

“The licence period for many expired on November 30 this year and they have not been granted an extension which means they need to shut shop,” he said. The issuance of new licences too had stopped a couple of years ago and this means the area was getting purged of quarries, he added.