Nation Current Affairs 23 Aug 2019 Kerala: Blanket ban ...

Kerala: Blanket ban on electric blasting at quarries soon

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | GILVESTER ASSARY
Published Aug 23, 2019, 1:29 am IST
Updated Aug 23, 2019, 3:06 am IST
The authorities said that the latest decision was to allow only non electric blasting in quarries.
According to estimates, there are 850 plus quarries in the state and 400 unauthorised quarries operating in the state.
 According to estimates, there are 850 plus quarries in the state and 400 unauthorised quarries operating in the state.

Thiruvananthapuram: The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) is all set to impose a ban on use of electric detonators for blasting in quarries across the state in the wake of huge destruction of life and property caused in the recent devastating floods.

The authorities said that the latest decision was to allow only non electric blasting in quarries. Currently electric detonators are being used extensively in quarries across the state. “Two days ago there was a meeting which decided that whatever will be sanctioned in future should be non electric. Though non-electric is an expensive mode of blasting, it is effective in checking the vibration,” said an official.

 

According to estimates, there are 850 plus quarries in the state and 400 unauthorised quarries operating in the state. With the demand for M-sand or Manufacturing Sand growing by the day in construction sector, cluster of quarries are coming up all over the place posing serious threat to ecology and environment.

Experts say the vibration caused by electric detonators is similar to mild tremors. The vibration occurs between soil and rock and repeated vibrations loosen the soil and allows water to get inside. The whole area comes crashing.

The SEIAA meeting is scheduled to take place on September 19 which will take a formal decision on banning electric detonators in quarries across the state.

“The decision will make a huge difference. The electric detonators have to be discouraged since the ballistic vibrations from these detonators go up to 500 to 600 metres. It causes disturbance to wild life, human beings, cracks in houses, buildings,” said an official.

Apart from banning electric detonators, the SEIAA plans to strengthen post environment clearance field visits to check violation of norms. There have been allegations of violation of Kerala Mines and Mineral Rules by quarries.

“We always take precautionary measures. The quarries are only one of the reasons for the landslides. We are serious about it and seriously considering steps to check violations,” said an official.

The deployment of unqualified blasters at the mining sites was also causing major problems. Only qualified blasters can decide which mode of blasting is suitable for a particular area.

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