Protest held against stone crusher units in Karje GP

Residents of Hosur, Kanjibettu battered by loud noise and dust

The residents of Hosur and Kanjibettu villages, which come under the Karje gram panchayat limits in Brahmavar, took out a protest rally against the stone (jelly) crusher units that operate in the area and had wreaked havoc in their lives.

Residents from as many as 70 houses gathered to express their anguish. They said that they would intensify the protest, if the authorities concerned fail to take action against the stone crushing units.

“The owners of the stone crushing units have crossed all limits of inhumanity,” said Madhukar Naik, who belongs to a ST community. He has four acres of land and cultivates paddy on 1.5 acres of land. His house is within 100 metres of radius of the units and is one of the worst affected by the quarry work.

Naik added that the blasting sound and the dust from the units were a nightmare to his family members.

He said that he has already approached the deputy commissioner in this regard and had also sent a grievance letter to the chief minister. However, there is no response.

Sudhakar Shetty, a social activist, added that four permits were issued to three persons to start the units on 4.5 acres of land, on an annual lease amount of Rs 3,500.

The crusher started functioning some six months ago on the government land.
He alleged that the officials, who had connived with the owners of the crusher units, had submitted a wrong report to the government on the location of units. They had stated that there were no schools, temples within the prohibited area, which is utterly false. There are 250 people in the region.

Agricultural activity
Shetty added that agriculture activity in the area had been badly hit due to the presence of the crusher units. The children, suffering from health complications, don’t go to the schools, he added.

One of the residents, Jyothi, in whose land the crusher owners have dug a deep channel to construct a road, grieves that the land was allotted to her to construct house just
six months.

Another resident Gulabi said that mud walls of her house were damaged and she cannot rear cattle owing to the loud noise from the blasting. “The village lacks all basic facilities, however, we are happy to be on the land which we inherited from our ancestors.” she said.

The stone crushing units have brought hordes of problems, she said and added that the health issues like breathing problems were experienced by all residents.

Karje Gram Panchayat president Nagaratna said that the gram panchayat had taken an unanimous decision to ban the jelly crusher units in the gram sabha.

Zilla Panchayat member Gopi Naika said that he would support the people in the villages. Nearly, 40 per cent of the people belong to the ST communities. Soma Naika said that workers from neighbouring states had made the life of the females in the region unsafe.
While APMC former president Sanjeev Shetty said that the villages have 75 per cent of forest area, which come under the Someshwara Wildlife division. There are animals like leopard and bison in the region. The environment is highly polluted.

Deemed forest area
He alleged that the tahsildar and other officials who had promised to take up survey, have failed to do so. The area also comes under deemed forest area and the land is not denotified.
 

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