The Ramanagaram district administration’s move to create a safe zone for stone-crushing units, as per the directions of the Supreme Court and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), has drawn opposition from villagers and industrialists.

There are 40 stone-crushing units across Ramanagaram. The district administration had identified 547 acres of land in four villages to create a safe zone.

While the villagers oppose the safe zone, saying it would be detrimental to their health; industrialists say shifting of units to such a zone might not be feasible.

Deputy Commissioner V. Srirama Reddy said the district administration had taken steps to shift all units to the outskirts of the city as per the Supreme Court direction.

“We have identified land in the district for the purpose,” Mr. Reddy told The Hindu here recently.

While 287 acres had been identified at Naripur village and Anumanahalli in Kanakapura taluk, 260 acres had been identified at Vengalappahalli and Panakana Kallu villages in Magadi taluk.

The stone-crushing units are spread across Bidadi, Kallupogapahalli, Kempanahalli, Heggadagere, Uragahalli, Maranahalli, Banavasi Palya, Vengalappanahalli, Thippagondanahalli, Kannur, Motagondanahalli, Bevuru, Gowdagere and Thenkanahalli villages in the district.

Recently, the district-level task force for stone-crushing units, headed by Mr. Reddy, invited applications from industrialists to operate their stone-crushing units in safe zones.

The units, which had agreed to relocate to safe zones, would be allowed to operate their business. Despite opposition, a good number of industrialists had approached the district administration seeking space for their units.

Mr. Reddy said the units had to install certain equipment against noise, air and water pollution. They had to strictly comply with the pollution control board’s directions, he added.

Meanwhile, the residents of Naripur, Anumanahalli, Vengalappahalli and Panakana Kallu villages have decided to stage a protest.

Installing stone-crushing units would pollute air and water. It was detrimental to the health of local residents, they said.

Speaking to this correspondent, they said the villagers would stage an agitation in Ramanagaram shortly.

“These zones would harm agricultural activities in Naripur,” Sanne Gowda said.

Owners of stone-crushing units have also opposed the proposal. It is not feasible to shift the units to these places, a owner of a stone-crushing unit, on condition of anonymity, said.

Shifting a unit required at least Rs. 25 lakh, he said.

However, Mr. Reddy maintained that industrialists had to abide by the Supreme Court’s direction.

  • 547 acres of land identified to create the zone

  • ‘It will harm agricultural activities’