Nation Current Affairs 25 Apr 2018 Bannerghatta now war ...

Bannerghatta now war zone, villagers fear quarry shrapnel

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 25, 2018, 3:54 am IST
Updated Apr 25, 2018, 3:54 am IST
Blasts shower villages with stones. Mafia will finish off state: Ex-judge
The quarry site near Bannerghatta National Park
 The quarry site near Bannerghatta National Park

Bengaluru: In the light of new evidence given by villagers staying close to the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), it is proved that not only quarrying near the park increased after 2013, but also most of the farmers had to give up farming as the dust from quarries polluted their lands and killed their crops. "Blasts occur at the quarries six times a day. They are of such severity that our houses have developed cracks and stone shrapnel flying from the sites tear through the aluminium sheet roofs of most of the houses," villagers said. 

Foresters choose to keep away from these sites, while there is hardly any monitoring by the state pollution control board. 

 

The pollution board should intensify monitoring as the presence of particulate matter is very high in the region, they said. 

Retired Judge Michael F. Saldanha, who addressed the media on Tuesday, said that residents of 47 villages in the vicinity of quarries live in fear as stones flying from these sites after the blasts are as lethal as bombs. "Our planet is being raped and murdered. The mining and quarrying mafia will finish off Karnataka," he said.

In 2013, the Union environment ministry had directed all the chief secretaries of all states and union territories to set 10 km from the boundary of protected areas as eco-sensitive zones. Mr Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation, said, "We are extremely distressed at the rampant quarrying happening in the close periphery of Bannerghatta National Park. We demand that the state government should re-notify the earlier draft Eco-Sensitive Zones of 269 sqkm without any reduction. Bannerghatta is too precious an ecological zone and source of many important streams for us to lose it for the greed of a few mining companies." 

 

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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