Quarrying: Protest stalls trial blast at KRS

Quarrying: Protest stalls trial blast at KRS

People protesting in front of the Kaveri Niravari Nigam office. DH photo

A team of scientists from the Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune, who had come for a trial blast near Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam in Srirangapatna taluk on Monday returned without conducting the blast, following opposition by local residents.

The scientists, A K Gouze, Vijay Godsey, Rajendra Gujjar and Nikil Taaraka, had camped in a hotel in Srirangapatna, to conduct the trial blast, to study the impact of quarrying.

The trial blast was planned following tremors caused by quarrying recently.

The farmers and eco-activists had staged a protest, saying that the quarrying had affected the KRS dam due to vibrations.

The scientists dropped the trial blast as members of Cauvery Ulisi Janandolana Samiti launched a ‘Go Back’ campaign in front of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited office here in the morning. The scientists called four representatives of the Samiti for a discussion. As the protestors demanded that the scientists hold an open discussion, they cancelled the programme.

Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited executive engineer K Basavarajegowda said, following opposition by the people, the scientists decided not to conduct the blast.

The protestors said they would not allow the blast at any cost, as stone quarrying would affect the dam. A government agency has already conducted a study and cautioned about the danger to the dam, if mining continues.

Samiti leaders Pa Mallesh, Guruprasad Keragodu, Sunanda Jayaram and Badagalapur Nagendra were among those present.

Meanwhile, quarry owners also staged a protest, demanding a trial blast. Quarrying will be stopped completely if scientists confirm that the quarry will impact the dam. The people should allow the scientists to conduct the test, they said.

Presently, there is a ban on quarrying within a radius of 20 km of the KRS dam.