Mining in Chitradurga was halted well before CEC visit

... As a last ditch effort to avoid ban in the face of SC panel visit to district

The goods train transporting ore has been at the Sasalu railway station in Holalkere taluk for  one week now. DH PhotoCompanies have stopped mining activities as a last ditch effort to avoid facing a ban in the face of the visit of the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to the district to study the impact of mining on the environment.

The dust in the air due to the mining activities is conspicuous by its absence. The companies are adopting various strategies to camouflage the mining activities. Transportation of ore through lorries and goods trains has come to a screeching halt.

“Ore has not been transported through the Sasalu railway station in Holalkere taluk. As many as 3,700 metric tonnes of ore used to be transported in 58 bogies of a rake everyday through this station. Usually, around 400 ore-laden lorries used to arrive at the railway station. Probably, the CEC visit has had an effect,” said a railway official.

Ore has been piled up on the side of the bogies and security personnel are manning them day and night. At the mines, silence pervades all over and workers are found idling in groups. The lorries and the cranes are in a state of inertia.

As many as 20 lorries used to transport ore were parked at Megalahalli, adjoining the mining areas in Chitradurga taluk. On Monday, lorries were not to be found in and around Bheemasamudra.

The scene was not different in Hosadurga taluk. No ore-laden lorry was to be found anywhere in the taluk on Sunday. The mining activities, which are rampant in the taluk, have been suspended. People say that the fear factor among the miners has resulted in this situation. All in all, the CEC visit has had a salutary effect in the mining areas.


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