Kerala

Tension as locals stop Anappara quarry operations

The temple pond that has been polluted by waste water from the nearby quarry at Anappara in Kozhikode district.

The temple pond that has been polluted by waste water from the nearby quarry at Anappara in Kozhikode district.

The situation has turned tense at Naduvathur in Keezhariyoor grama panchayat of Kozhikode district after a group of local people prevented repeated attempts by the management of Anappara granite quarry to carry out operations despite public protests. The management had sought the help of the police to transport the granite after several rounds of talks failed.

However, the local people, who have formed an action committee demanding the shutdown of the quarry on the ground that it had flouted many a norm and had caused damage to several houses and a 150-year-old temple in the vicinity, refused to budge.

“At least 27 houses have developed cracks on them, of which, the condition is very bad for five houses. One house is on the verge of collapse. Besides, six wells have also developed cracks”, said K.C. Babu, a member of the action committee, who has been knocking on one door after another seeking help to shut down the quarry.

Licence

“The police are unable to help us as the quarry owners have the required licence. But how they acquired that licence is a mystery, as there are quite a few violations. I have complained to the District Collector, but there has been no reply. The replies I received for my petitions under the RTI Act show clear violations”, Mr. Babu said. Besides him, several local people have filed petitions in the Kerala High Court, demanding the shutdown of the quarry.

The explosions happen less than 45 metres away from the nearest residence, when the recent Supreme Court order maintains that there should be at least 200 metres between the quarry and the nearest residence. There is only a less than 5-metre-wide pathway to the quarry, which, as per the norms, is not fit for heavy vehicles. Besides, it is located in plantation land.

It is the damage caused to the 150-year-old Nellyadi Naduvathur Maha Siva Kshethram that has riled the local people the most.

“There are several cracks on the walls of the temple, the gopuram, the sanctum sanctorum, the steps to the pond and so on. The water in the pond has been polluted by the quarry”, Mr. Babu said, adding that it was one of the biggest temples in north Kerala and that this specimen of architecture that houses unique sculptures and paintings, needed to be preserved for posterity.

“The quarry management’s representatives do not turn up for discussions. We will not back down until the quarry is shut down. Or else, the District Collector or the police chief need to vouch for them”, Mr. Babu said.


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Printable version | May 16, 2022 8:03:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tension-as-locals-stop-anappara-quarry-operations/article38341280.ece