Tamil Nadu government and the district administration must prevent illegal mining and stone blasting in Coimbatore district to avoid earthquakes and loss of groundwater and wildlife, a group of citizens under the umbrella ‘People of Coimbatore’ said in a petition to Coimbatore Collector on Monday.
In the petition submitted during the weekly grievances redress meeting, the protestors claimed, “Daily, 4,000 to 5,000 loads [tonnes] of mineral resources are transported from Coimbatore to neighbouring districts and States. Tonnes of stones are transported from quarries in Kinathukadavu to Kerala through internal village roads every day. Further, a few lorries carry 500-1,000 tonnes of minerals even though they have a permit for only 100 tonnes.”
According to them, no department, including the Geology and Mining Department, is efficiently preventing these illegal activities despite repeated petitioning. After the end of March 2023, the special task force of the State recorded no significant action, alleged a protester.
They alleged, “Various geology researchers have claimed excessive mining activity can cause earthquakes. During a drill in Tamil Nadu Agriculture University in 2019, Rajan Baalu, Deputy Commandant, Fourth Battalion, mentioned that 35 out of 72 wards were identified as high-risk wards, which includes Selvapuram, VOC Nagar and TNAU.”
Hence, illegal mining of minerals and stone blasting must be stopped and the task force must function better, the protester stated.