Report on quarrying threat to KRS back in focus

The threat to Krishnaraja Sagar from quarry blasting activities in its vicinity has come under focus again, with the Congress citing a report submitted by the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) that had recorded tremors experienced by the dam because of quarrying.

The KSNDMC, which has installed a VSAT-enabled Permanent Seismic Monitoring Station at KRS, had sent a report to the government in September 2018 emphasising the need to regulate quarrying activities in the vicinity. It stated that the activities posed harm to the safety of the dam, which not only irrigates vast tracts of lands but also provides drinking water to several cities in Karnataka and the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

In the wake of the blast in Shivamogga, KPCC spokesman M. Lakshmana told reporters the government had turned a blind eye to the concerns of the people as well as government agencies such as KSNDMC by allowing quarrying and blasting to continue around the reservoir. “It is a serious matter. More than four crore people are dependent on the dam.”

Officials of the Mines and Geology Department in Mandya admitted that there were more than 50 quarries, including 49 illegal ones, operating in a radius of 20 km from the reservoir. Department officials claim they were understaffed and have pointed out that most of the illegal quarries were run by relatives of powerful politicians, Mr. Lakshmana claimed.

Saying that the dam was almost 90 years old, Mr. Lakshmana said the government should take up the matter seriously and crack down on illegal quarrying in its vicinity, particularly in Baby Betta area. He said the seismic monitoring station at KRS had recorded two “signatures” coming from a radial distance of around 10.5 km, which is around the same radial distance in which the stone crusher quarry area of Baby Betta is located.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 12:06:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/report-on-quarrying-threat-to-krs-back-in-focus/article33662829.ece

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