Over 400 residents of the Pallichal grama panchayat on Wednesday staged a daylong sit-in in front of the panchayat office at Pallichal, demanding that the panchayat revoke the quarrying licences that were renewed this week for five quarries and two crusher units in the area.

The residents, who had staged a protest and submitted a memorandum on March 7 demanding that the licences of these units not be renewed, citing environmental and health hazards caused by the quarrying and allied activities on Mookunnimala, were furious that their demands were ignored totally.

Blockade of lorries

They declared that from Thursday, they would not allow movement of lorries of the quarry or crusher units in their panchayat.

The residents repeated their concerns over the unabated quarrying on the Mookunnimala, pointing out that apart from the blasting and other quarrying activities that were affecting the environment, the round-the-clock operation of hundreds of lorries through the panchayat was causing more than mere inconvenience to the locality.

They alleged that when they submitted the memorandum to the panchayat authorities on March 7, they had replied in writing that they were convinced of the issues and that they would approach the District Collector to initiate necessary measures. Despite that assurance, the licences were renewed, which forced them to stage the protest on Wednesday.

Several environmental activists from various organisations declared their support to the campaign taken up by the residents of Pallichal and participated in the protest.