Karnataka: Illegal mining leaves Bannerghatta parched

Land swapped with Defence ministry falls within 1km safe zone of Bannerghatta National Park

Published: 12th August 2018 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2018 05:21 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The ‘Thammanayakanahalli land’ being proposed to be swapped with Defence Ministry reveals shocking details of illegal mining in the vicinity of Bannerghatta. Survey No. 23 in Thammanayakanahalli, Anekal taluk, that is to be swapped under the exchange agreement with Defence Ministry falls within the ‘1km Safe Zone’ of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP).

Secondly, rampant illegal mining has not only polluted the ‘water source’ acutely but also affected drinking water needs of wildlife.

As per official documents with The New Indian Express, illegal mining activities in Survey No. 23 has destroyed this pristine land.  

The document states, “Over the years, illegal mining by stone and jelly crushers in Survey 23 has led to the flow of mining (black granite) waste and debris into water sources. The mining waste has contaminated the water sources which flows to the water holes in BNP. The quality of water is pretty bad. The mining activity on the south of Bengaluru side in Thammanayakanahalli is so acute that there is need for formation of a Task Force to stop this illegal activity.”

The illegal four violators

Four mining companies have been identified which are within the 1 KM Safe Zone of BNP, the document states while till date, officials have been denying any mining activity in the Safe Zone. Of the three survey numbers which are being exchanged with Defence Ministry — 15 mining leases operated on Survey 23 and 177 while on Survey 176, no mining activity has been done.

Despite being close to BNP, these government lands were given on lease to the private sector — 10 stone mining companies and 8 jelly and M-sand crushers. The 10 mining companies included SLV enterprises, J V Shivramreddy, GTB Enterprises (3 leases), G A Chandrashekar, Srichakra Engineering Enterprises (2 leases), V Muniraju and GTB Enterprises (Umesh). While the rest 8 Jelly Crushers included Tavar Mine and Minerals, Srichakra Engineering enterprises, Chaitanya Enterprises, Venture Mining, MNR Associates, PSR Associates and Yashpal Infrastructure.

The 8 mining leases were found to be located within the default 10 KM ESZ of BNP.

Jelly stone violation saga

Adding to the mining violation saga are two more leases in the Jelly Stone crushing sector which are within the 1 KM Safe Zone and falls in Survey No 23. They include mining lease nos : 6 (MSR Associates and owner Nanjareddy) and No : 7 (PSR Associates and owner Subbareddy). Rest five jelly stone crushing leases - Nos : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 are located within the Bannerghatta ESZ default area.

A wildlife activist from Bannerghatta said, “The illegal mining here is more than the Ballari mining saga. Only if one visits these areas can they gauge the destruction that has occurred in the last few decades all due to illegal mining and heavy political involvement.”

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