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Landslip: people lay siege to village office

Staff Reporter
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Demand total ban on quarrying and closure of all granite quarries

Villagers laying siege to the village office at Athikkayam, demanding closure of all granite quarries at Chembanmudy on Wednesday.— Photos: Leju Kamal
Villagers laying siege to the village office at Athikkayam, demanding closure of all granite quarries at Chembanmudy on Wednesday.— Photos: Leju Kamal

Villagers, including women and children, laid siege to the village office at Athikkayam on Wednesday, demanding total ban on quarrying and closure of all granite quarries and crusher units at Chembanmudy which is considered as the tallest hill in the district.

A minor landslip following the flooding of water collected in large pools formed in the quarry on Tuesday evening had damaged crops in the valley, creating scare among the villagers. The flooding was due to the heavy rain.

District Collector Pranab Jyotinath rushed to the spot on Tuesday night and directly monitored the damage control exercise carried out by the Fire Force, Disaster Management wing of the District Administration, and the police personnel. Leaders and workers of the Chembanmudy Protection Samiti and People’s Action Council also took part in the overnight efforts to control the water currents and shift people to safer places.

A small portion of the Madanthamon-Arattumon-Pullickal-Edamuri Road was washed away in the heavy water current.

The fierce flow of water also damaged crops on either side of the small stream called Karanamkuthithode in the valley.

Inaugurating the siege, Peelipose Thomas, All India Congress Committee member, called upon the district administration to take immediate steps to issue prohibitory orders against all activities that endangered human life and property.

The siege was led by the action council leaders Shaji Pathalil, Anu Samadhanathil, and Bose Varghese Kaithala. The villagers dispersed following an assurance given by Revenue Divisional Officer A. Gopakumar to consider their demands.

CPI protest

Nearly 250 workers of the Communist Party of India staged a march and laid siege to the Taluk Office in Ranni in the forenoon, demanding immediate closure of all granite quarries at Chembanmudy.

Inaugurating the march, CPI district secretary P. Prasad alleged that the Revenue Minister, who was in charge of disaster management, had not yet visited Chembanmudy, despite the ongoing public agitation against illegal granite quarrying there.

The police arrested 11 CPI activists in connection with the siege.

Meanwhile, District Collector Pranab Jyotinath has directed Revenue Divisional Officer, Thiruvalla, A..Gopakumar to “remove the public nuisance, invoking Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code, at Chembanmudy in Naranammoozhy grama panchayat’’ in the backdrop of the landslip threat posing the villages surrounding the hill.

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