Bengaluru: Taking up cudgels against unchecked mining in Sandur area of Ballari district, noted Kannada poet, Prof K.S. Nissar Ahmed has asked people to unite and fight against the mining mafia which has not only polluted the area but also made people's lives miserable.
Talking to Deccan Chronicle, Prof. Ahmed, a renowned poet of the Navya movement and Padma Shree award winner, said he was very moved to see a photo exhibition displaying the negative impact of mining in and around Sandur. Mother Earth had turned 'blood red' and the green vegetation was covered with red-coloured mud indicating the prevailing situation in that area.
While mining barons live in palatial building outside the mining area and move in imported cars, local people have to contend with air and water pollution. The water too has turned red and people have no choice except to drink it and use it for cooking. “The voice of the socially oppressed classes has been silenced by vested interests, and their cry for clean air and clean water has gone unnoticed,” he said.
The poet said the Sandur area was blessed with natural resources and the thick green vegetation was a feast for the eyes. However, the area was slowly losing its natural resources due to the greed of mining companies. The rocks formed naturally million of years ago, were now being slowly being broken into pieces. "A tree will grow in 10-20 years but not natural rocks. It is sad to note that permission was given for mining at the cost of natural resources. If the situation is not checked immediately, Sandur may become another Sahara in the coming years".
Prof Ahmed said he was only blaming the system which had no concern for the poor. Only a united fight inclusive of all citizens can save Sandur from destruction.
The ancient Kumaraswamy temple, believed to have been built by the Chola rulers, too was facing extinction due to reckless mining around the temple. It was high time people came forward to protect the serene atmosphere of Sandur, an erstwhile province, ruled by the Ghorpade family, he said.
Clarifying that he did not blame anyone including CM Siddaramaiah for the current situation, the poet said he had high regard for the CM with whom he enjoys a three-decade old friendship. "I would not have imagined in my dreams of opening the world-famous Mysore Dasara last year. But, Mr Siddaramaiah gave me an opportunity to open the event. For me, inaugurating Mysuru Dasara was much more than getting the Padma award," he remarked....