Hyderabad: Telangana’s Environment Impact Assessment Authority issued nearly 150 Environmental Clearances for mining units in the state in a span of just six months, a majority of which are for granite mining.
The SEIAA received 372 applications for grant of EC since its formation in April-end this year of which around 200 are for mining.
Most of the applications were for black and colour granite mining. Nearly 50 per cent of the granite mining proposals were from Karimnagar. The granite quarried from the Karimnagar is even exported to other countries apart from selling in the domestic market.
There are around 500 quarrying units in Karimnagar and more quarries are expected to add to the burden on the environment. Karimnagar has witnessed man-animal conflict between humans and bears regularly. A reason for this according to a forest department official is the blasting done on hills which scares the bears and forces them to run towards the plains among people.
Another impact is said to be on the small streams which join the Maner River in the district. Due to blasting of rocks the streams have been reported to be drying up resulting in less water in the river apart from leaving people dependent on the streams without any source of water. Impact of mining on air quality is also well known.
However, officials from the TSPCB said that the number off granite mining proposals received is actually lower than that during the pre-bifurcation time due to drop in demand for granite in even international markets.
About the quick clearances an official of the Telangana State Pollution Control Board said, “The SEIAA has been regularly conducting meets to dispose off EC proposals. Most of the mining clearances given for mines are of less than 25 hectares which takes just around a month of review if the mining company provides all the needed documents and fulfills all the terms of reference. For mines with sizes of 25-50 hectares, it takes around five months.”
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