Landslip threat looms large over the Arattumon, Pullickal and Madanthamon areas of Naranammoozhy grama panchayat in Ranni taluk.
As many as 300 families residing on either banks of the natural stream, Karanamkuthithode, leading to river Pampa in the foothills of the Chembanmudy hill in Naranammoozhy are staying in perpetual fear of a major natural calamity during monsoon, thanks to the cracks developed on the hillside adjoining a giant granite quarry at Chembanmudy.
The area witnessed a minor landslip recently.
The villagers, under the banner of the People’s Action Council and the Chembanmudy Protection Council, have been waging an indefinite agitation for the past two months demanding closure of all granite quarries and crusher units at Chembanmudy.
They complain of serious public health risk, including cancer, serious lung ailments and skin diseases, besides drastic depletion of groundwater table and alarming environmental issues due to indiscriminate blasting of rocks in violation of laws.
As many as 10 persons, including seven children, from the area have been suffering from cancer.
A good number of residents suffer from chronic lung ailment due to the fine quarry dust flying in the air.
Violation of laws
Action council leaders Shaji Pathalil, Bose Varghese Kaithala and Anu Samadhanathil alleged gross violation of laws and mining rules by the quarry operators for the past nine years.
Collector visits area
District Collector Pranab Jyotinath and Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) A. Gopakumar inspected the granite quarry and the landslip-hit areas.
In an order issued on Thursday, the RDO who is also the Sub Divisional Magistrate banned the functioning of both the granite quarries, Kavumkal Granites and Manimalethu quarry and crusher unit, at Chembanmudy till further orders.
In his order (No.B1-34/2013), Mr. Gopakumar said the ban on quarries was ordered, invoking section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code because they posed a threat to human life and environment.
The RDO’s order says that he, during an inspection of the quarry, had found violation of rules by the operators. Unauthorised installation of a check-post too was found on the panchayat road by a quarry at Chembanmudy.
Moreover, it was also found that the grama panchayat had not given the D&O licence for operating the quarries at Chembanmudy, the order says.