The All-India Congress Committee member, Peelipose Thomas called upon the district administration to take effective steps to drain out the huge quantity of water stored in a pond as well as concrete tanks at the granite quarries situated on the environmentally sensitive Chembanmudy hill without any further delay to avert an environmental disasters as observed by an expert team attached to the Geological Survey of India.

In a statement issued here on Friday, Mr. Thomas condemned the negligent attitude of the district administration towards the report submitted to it on the Chembanmudy hill by the GSI expert committee.

The AICC member alleged that though it was decided in the meeting convened by the collector on May 23 that the water stored in the large ponds as well as concrete tanks at Chembanmudy should be drained out before the monsoon intensifies, no initiative was taken by the administration to execute the same for reasons best known to the authorities concerned.

The GSI geologists, R.Sajeev, and Gaurav Kumar Singh, have conducted a study at Chembanmudy hillock a month ago in the wake of the land slip, which occurred on the south-western flank of the hill on May 7.

Expert opinion

The expert panel has categorically stated that no granite quarrying should be permitted at Chembanmudy without taking collective measures.

Mr. Thomas said the geologists have observed that dumping of overburden and quarry related work have badly altered three major streams originating from Chembanmudy.

The GSI report specifically stated that the large pond formed at a quarry situated at an elevation of 275 metres above the mean sea level is separated from the break-in-slope of the hillock with a thick column of earth materials. Hence, chances of a catastrophic pond-break can not be ruled out in the peak monsoon season, if the separating column containing debris material fails to withstand the heavy pressure created by the huge volume of pond water, says the report.

Though the Revenue authority has ordered a temporary ban on granite quarrying at Chembanmudy, the administration has failed to issue a notice to the person who has been illegally operating the quarry for the past nine years, Mr. Thomas alleged. Moreover, the district authority appeared to be keen on excluding another quarry operator from the purview of the ban order, he alleged.

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