Quarrying in Amtadi: houses develop cracks

Last Updated 30 November 2017, 19:58 IST

The residents of this tiny village in the fifth block of Amtadi, in Bantwal, are worried about the future of their houses. Quarrying that has been going on for over nine years in the village has resulted in over 20 houses developing cracks.

Though a few have repaired their houses, they wonder what lies in store for them.

Hectic quarrying is giving sleepless nights to the residents of the village. In a few houses, cracks have appeared even on the side walls as well. The residents of Talembila-Ermude, Amtadi, (Fifth block), have been affected with the quarry.

"We do not know what will happen to the houses since quarrying has been going on. Repeated appeals to the officials have not yielded any result except for a few visits," said Thomas Raymond Lobo to DH.

Air pollution

Thomas said, "Dust from the crusher and explosives used for the quarry results in air pollution in the region. Pieces of stone come flying from the quarry at any time in the village. We have been living in fear of losing our houses. Further, the village is reeling under water scarcity as well. We attribute this to the loss of water stored inside the rock through the cracks developed following the blasting at the quarry site. Instead of helping the residents, the quarry owner has only filed a complaint us for troubling him."

Thomas Raymond has even filed a complaint to Lokayukta three months ago and the complaint is likely to be heard shortly.

The residents alleged "The quarry owner ensures that no activities are taken place when the officials visit the spot for inspection. Further, they said that though permission was obtained for carrying out quarry on 35 cents land, the quarry is being carried out on nearly one-acre land in the vicinity."

GPS survey

Following the direction of the deputy commissioner, Mines and Geology department official along with assistant engineer and Amtadi VA had visited the site and had conducted a GPS survey of the nine houses situated within a 200-metre radius of the quarry site. According to the GPS survey, the house of Madhava Poojari is situated within 70 meters away from the quarry site. While the houses of Suresh is 120 meters, Aithappa Poojary's is 170 meters, Dulcin Pinto's is 105 meters, Valeriyan Pinto's is 105 meters, Lusi Pinto's is 105 meters, Shantha's is 120 meters, Devaki's is 167 meters and Kamala's is 175 meters, from the quarry.

In a report submitted to the Mangaluru assistant commissioner, deputy director of Mines and Geology has said that "the department had sanctioned permit for carrying out quarry on 35 cents land for a period of five years, from 2008. The owner of the quarry has submitted an application for the renewal of the license as per Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules."

(Published 30 November 2017, 18:50 IST)

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