Environmentalists see bid to reopen banned quarries in Kozhikode

Environmental activists in the district have accused quarry operators of attempting to influence Revenue officials to convert high-hazard zones into low-hazard zones for resuming the operations of granite quarries in environmentally sensitive areas.

They also alleged that more than three quarries in Kannur district had already been listed under the low-hazard zone category subsequent to the wrong zonation and mapping process initiated by the authorities.

An environmental activist from Mukkom alleged corruption on the part of officials and said many quarries which were denied environmental clearance could be reopened with the unscientific mapping process.

He said a petition had already been submitted to the Chief Minister in this regard. “An investigation led by the Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department is likely to be conducted into the complaint. The Disaster Management Authority will be answerable, if there are any suspected irregularities in the process,” he said.

The main concern raised by greens was the possibility of reopening a number of previously closed granite quarries in Kozhikode district with the new mapping process. According to them, there were efforts on the part of a section of quarry operators to list the previously closed projects in Kakkadampoyil under low-hazard zones and resume large-scale operations.

Some of the local environmental action committee leaders said many of them were unaware of the ongoing mapping process and its impact on nature. They said the picture would be clear only with the release of the latest data by the Disaster management Authority after the completion of the mapping process. When contacted, a Revenue Department official said the mapping process was undertaken with an aim to mitigate natural disasters and to adopt advanced preparatory measures at the local level. He claimed that it would in no way help resume the functioning of banned quarries in environmentally sensitive areas.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:36:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/environmentalists-see-bid-to-reopen-banned-quarries/article33583820.ece

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