Since quarrying resumed after a ban, prices go up by 40%

Public protest is mounting against the sky-rocketing price of granite products and the increase in granite quarrying activities in Wayanad district. Though the district administration had banned the functioning of quarries on revenue land for nearly seven months following a Supreme Court directive, quarrying was resumed nearly a fortnight ago with the State government intervening in the issue on the ground that the ban had adversely affected the construction sector in the district.

Bangalore: An initiative by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to address the problem posed by slurry waste from granite units at Jigani along Bannerghatta Road has become a boon for garbage contractors. They have got the chance to dump waste on the sly in abandoned quarries of the area.

At least 20 tonnes of Bangalore’s waste finds its way here. The KSPCB though is not complaining, given that it hasn’t really affected its plans to dump slurry waste in the quarry pits.

Indefinite relay satyagraha in front of panchayat office

A joint action council of environmental activists and people of Kalanjur panchayat, near Pathanapuram, in the district began an indefinite relay Satyagraha in front of the panchayat office on Monday demanding immediate closure of three granite quarries and a manufactured sand plant (sand making plant) operating there. The quarries are at Kalliparamala, Inchapara and Rakshasanpara, and the sand plant is at Pothupara.

Indefinite relay satyagraha in front of panchayat office

The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday ordered notice, returnable by three weeks, to the State Government seeking its reply to a public interest litigation petition filed by an individual with a plea to establish a special court for exclusive and expeditious trial of a number of criminal cases registered by Madurai district police in connection with the multi-crore granite quarry scam.

A Division Bench of Justice K.N. Basha and Justice P. Devadass directed a government counsel to take notice in the PIL filed by P. Somasundaram (54), a resident of Nondikovilpatti in Melur Taluk near here.

While the government is seeking world heritage status for the Edakkal Caves on the Ambukuthy hills in Wayanad district, famous for its Neolithic petroglyphs, illegal granite quarrying and fast urbanisation in the vicinity of the caves are posing a serious threat to the rock engravings.

The government had banned all types of construction activities on the premises of the caves to conserve the rock engravings a few years ago. But, construction work for shopping complexes, on both sides of the road to the caves, and illegal quarrying by using explosives have been going on without constraint. The impact of the activities is posing a serious threat to the rock shelters.

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa said today the government has initiated action to attach properties worth over Rs.9,700 crore in cases of illegal mining of granite in the state and secure

Jaipur: A division bench of Rajasthan high court on Monday issued notices to the state and Central governments seeking their response to a PIL seeking to nullify the first-come-first-serve rule adopted for allotment of mining leases for precious minor minerals in the state.

The order came on a PIL filed by one Battulal Meena who challenged the rules framed under Rajasthan Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1986. The PIL claims that the lease for extracting minor minerals like limestone, marble, granite etc, are being allotted under firstcome-first-serve basis while low quality and less priced mineral stones like chezza stone is being awarded through public auction which is highly arbitrary and whimsical.

Stringent action against encroachers

District Collector P.G. Thomas has said that a monitoring committee has been constituted as part of the measures aimed at ending unauthorised granite quarrying and sand-mining in the district. He informed this after presiding over a meeting on Friday to discuss the problems posed by such activities.

Granite quarries which have not violated the norms should be allowed to carry on mining, said Madurai Granite Manufacturers’ and Processors’ Association here on Sunday.

The association members employed as many as 4000 workers in the granite polishing units situated along the Madurai-Sivaganga Road, near here. Apart from this, the industry provided employment opportunities to around 3000 persons in the locality.