Karnataka

Ban on quarrying near KRS likely to hit construction industry

Quarry operators and owners have also been warned of facing criminal charges if they do not comply with the ban order.

Quarry operators and owners have also been warned of facing criminal charges if they do not comply with the ban order.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

more-in

The blanket ban on stone quarrying in the vicinity of Baby Hills, which has been widely welcomed by farmers and environmentalists, is expected to hit the construction industry around here.

The industry in Mandya, Mysuru and Madikeri districts was hugely dependent on stone extraction units near Srirangapatna and Pandavapura taluks in the district for manufactured sand (M-Sand) and gravel. Nevertheless, with loud hollow sounds and vibrations frequently experienced in the vicinity of the Krishnaraja Sagar owing to the rampant use of explosives at quarries, the district administration has imposed a blanket ban on stone extraction in the surroundings of Baby Hills.

The restriction has come into force and all the 36 such quarries, which were supplying M-Sand and gravel, have been issued strict instructions to stop operations. The quarry operators and owners have also been warned of facing criminal cases if they do not comply.

Alternative to sand

M-Sand is nothing but artificial sand manufactured from crushed stone. It is widely seen as the best natural resource with which to construct buildings. Owing to the unavailability of river sand, the construction industry has been using M-Sand as an alternative. Thus, the ban order will affect the construction industry, said a quarry operator.

Even the ongoing Bengaluru-Mysuru highway development project requires several lakh tonnes of M-Sand and gravel. There are hundreds of projects being taken up in the Old Mysore region, and they too need quarry materials, he said.

The quarries at or near Baby Hills were the prime source of M-Sand and gravel for the construction industry in Mandya, Mysuru and Madikeri. Although there are a good number of quarries in Chamarajanagar and Ramanagaram, the major builders in Bengaluru as well as the public in Chamarajanagar prefer M-Sand from the Srirangapatna and Pandavapura quarries owing to their quality, a senior officer working with the Department of Mines and Geology said.

At present, M-Sand is being sold at quarries near Baby Hills for ₹950 to ₹1,100 a tonne. Now, the industry will have to procure M-Sand/gravel from quarries in Kanakapura of Ramanagaram district, Kunigal in Tumakuru district, or elsewhere.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:23:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ban-on-quarrying-near-krs-likely-to-hit-construction-industry/article30552362.ece

Next Story