They were supposed to provide construction materials for tribal people, who use only natural stone for construction, pointed out nodal officer for tribal welfare.

The Nodal Officer for Tribal Welfare and Grievances Cell under the Department of Police for Attappady V. Krishnankutty has said that all the 23 quarries functioning at the Agali (19) and Sholayur (four) grama panchayats of Attappady have no licence to operate.

He said no explosive licence was issued to these quarries also. But they were operating at Attappady, gravely affecting the environment and ecology of the area.

All these quarries were functioning under the plea that they were set up to provide construction materials to tribal people which had no basis at all because the tribal people used locally available natural stone pieces for constructing their houses, the nodal officer said.

He said the Nodal Office for Tribal Welfare had intervened to stop the functioning of one of these quarries at Kavuindikkal at Agali grama panchayat on Tuesday. Its owners could not produce any licence from the Department of Mining and Geology or the Central Explosive Department, he said.

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