Many bears that lived on hillocks have died in the past two years

The excessive granite and stone quarry operations in various parts of the district is causing serious loss to biodiversity and may soon endanger wildlife such as wild bear, sloth bear, peacocks and small ground birds, which mostly reside on the hillocks, and also the flora and fauna, say environmentalists.

The Karimnagar district has more than 3,000 wild bears because of the huge hills. Of late, the wild bears have become endangered due to granite and stone quarry operations. During the past two years, several bears have died in the district. Besides, wild bears have become violent due to granite quarry operations such as blasting to excavate granite and entering human habitats and attacking people.

Forest officials say that at least 11 people have been killed in wild bear attacks and they have paid Rs. 15 lakh compensation in the last two years. They fear that the wildlife will be at threat if stone and granite quarry operations continue without any restrictions. “We do not have any control over the restrictions of granite quarry operations as the hillocks came under the revenue lands,” said and official.

Telangana Bhumi Parirakshana Committee convener S. Sujatha says that the district administration has given permission to over 720 stone and granite quarries in the district. Among them, around 389 quarries were under operation and excavating the granite and exporting to the foreign countries, she added. The destruction of mountains and hillocks in the name of quarry and revenue for the government would pose ecological imbalance and the district would turn into a desert.

“The mountains are linked to the water sources in the Telangana region. All the water sources in the region are constructed based on the flow of rainwater from the mountains and hillocks. But, now there are no inflows into the water sources due to destruction of hillocks,” she complains. The mountains are highly intensified biodiversity areas, she said and stressed on the need to protect the mountains from destructions.

Talking to The Hindu on Thursday, Divisional Forest Officer (West) Priyanka Varghese says that the small birds such as bee-eaters, flower-peckers, larks, wagetails-pitpits, babblers (seven sisters) and many other varieties of birds, which help the farming community in killing the insects and helping in pollination, are being eroded due to the granite quarry operations.

  • Wild bears turn violent due to blasting of rocks; 11 persons killed in attacks by animals in two years

  • ‘Permission given to 720 stone, granite quarries of which 389 are under operation’