Kavalapaduru residents seek action against mining near Bantwal

Kavalapaduru residents seek action against mining near Bantwal

Residents of Bantwal have urged the district administration to initiate action against those indulging in mining activities in the area. The residents allege that unabated stone mining activities are being carried out unabatedly in Kavalapaduru village in Bantwal posing a threat to the people in the region.

Addressing reporters here, Sai Sagar Foundation for Human Rights secretary Pavitra Acharya said that the people of the region are terrified of the stone mining activities as their houses have developed cracks and are posed with a threat of collapse due to black stone mining. Kavalapaduru village houses the historic Karinjeshwara Temple and the mining area is located close to the temple.

Marwin Goveas from Mangaluru has been carrying out the extraction of black stones in the land since 2007, Pavitra said.

The complaints and memorandum submitted to the authorities concerned have yielded no result. If the mining activity continues, it will prove disastrous to the people, especially schoolchildren in the area. Already, many cattle have succumbed owing to mining activities.

The people of the region have been fighting under the leadership of Nagarika Hitarakshana Vedike since the beginning of mining activities. During the tenure of late V S Acharya as the Home Minister of Karnataka, an order was passed on September 15, 2008, prohibiting stone mining within the radius of 10 km of Karinjeshwara Temple. But, after some time, mining continued as usual.

She further pointed out that people carrying out mining have fenced the land measuring 34 acres, including 10-acre gomala land, crematorium land and the land reserved for solid water management unit, which is a clear case of encroachment. Pavitra alleged that the local authorities are in nexus with the wrongdoers and they have manipulated the records to the advantage of the mining mafia. The mention of gomala land which was earlier in the land record, has now been removed. Also, the signatures of the residents in the vicinity have been forged to prepare no objection certificate in favour of the wrongdoers. Assistant Commissioner A C Renukaprasad has given a false report saying that there are no houses in the vicinity of the mining area.

When the residents opposed the mining activities, those indulging in mining posed life threat to the people including women. The police officials at Bantwal rural police station have refused to receive the complaints, she alleged.

If the district administration does not take any measures, stern protests will be held in front of the Assistant Commissioner's office, she added.

Activists and residents Sundar, Janardhan, Reeta and Ganesh were present in the press meet.