Suspend sand quarry work near Cauvery: villagers

“The quarry, if completed, will be a jolt to our livelihood”

January 07, 2014 02:37 pm | Updated May 13, 2016 07:46 am IST - TIRUCHI:

Farmers of Natham village marching to submit a memorandum at the Collectorate in Tiruchi on Monday. Photo: M. Moorthy

Farmers of Natham village marching to submit a memorandum at the Collectorate in Tiruchi on Monday. Photo: M. Moorthy

A group of farmers and residents of Natham village near Thottiyam on the northern banks of the Cauvery have urged the district administration to immediately suspend the work of setting up a quarry for exploiting the sand resource in their village.

The villagers expressed apprehension that the quarry, if completed, would be a jolt to their very livelihood as the irrigation water would be suspended and the groundwater table de-stabilised. In a memorandum submitted to Collector Jayashree Muralidharan here on Monday, they said this was the second attempt to exploit the sand resource in the village. An earlier attempt in 2010 was foiled following a series of protests launched by the villagers.

This time, the pathway to the sand quarry has been set up through the reserve forest area. “About a dozen earthmovers have been working overtime to set up the pathway to the quarry by uprooting eucalyptus trees cultivated by the Forest Department,” the memorandum said.

About 25,000 acres of crop, mostly banana and betel, would be hard hit, if the quarry was set up.

The villagers also pointed out that most of them were cattle owners and largely relied on the Cauvery for grazing their livestock. They alleged that the elected representatives of local bodies had shirked their responsibility in protecting the ground water sources.

Depletion in underground water table would largely affect their cultivation practice and pattern, they said, urging the district administration’s immediate intervention in the matter.

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