Massive crackdown on illegal quarries in Anekal

Raids conducted at 19 locations where greenery was plundered; equipment seized

Massive crackdown on illegal quarries in Anekal

In coordinated raids across Anekal taluk, the Bengaluru Urban district authorities clamped down on illegal quarrying at 19 locations on Wednesday, including one inside the Bannerghatta forest.

The raids began at 6 am with various teams spreading across the taluk, along with a sizeable number of policemen.

The district authorities seized a number of earth movers, crushing machines, trucks, tractors, tippers, crushed stones, slab stones, boulders and size stones. Assistant Commissioner L C Nagaraj said that the total estimated value of the properties, including the seized materials, is about Rs 800 crore.

The raids revealed eight illegal quarries in Kanna-Nayaka Agrahara village, four quarries in Shivanapur, three in Thamma-Nayakanahalli, one each in Giddenahalli, Mahantha Lingapura, Hullahalli and S Bingipura.

Nagaraj said the two quarries at Thamma-Nayakanahalli, Krutthika and SSB Enterprises, were completely shut down. The third one, Sri Chakra Enterprises (operated by Srinivas Reddy) is under scrutiny.

The Assistant Commissioner said, “We had given four acres of land under Darkhasth scheme (land granted to people from Scheduled Castes for their uplift), Sri Chakra Enterprises utilised it for quarrying. The operator managed to get some clearance too, but the fact remains that the land given to him under the scheme is meant only for agriculture and not quarrying”.

The miner had extended his quarrying activities to at least 20 acres, which is a gross violation, said Nagaraj.

The raids at Thamma-Nayakanahalli showed how the Bannerghatta reserve forest had been plundered. Locals said that the quarry was once lush green hillocks, which the miners plundered.

A local resident said, “The hillock was huge and during rain a small waterfall used to form, which would flow in the form of a rivulet. Wild animals, especially elephants, used to get water to drink and bath. The quarrying destroyed the habitat of the wild animals”.

He said quarrying was going on for the last one decade, but only now, the district authorities had woken up to stop criminal activities in the reserved forest.

Quite surprising was the quarrying in Shivanapur village, which is inside Bannerghatta forest.

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