Illegal mining leaves families in dire straits

Indiscriminate mining of laterite soil. Drastic fall in groundwater level. Potable water shortage. The chain of events has left over a hundred families struggling in Kurampala South ward of Pandalam Municipality.

Published: 27th June 2017 01:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2017 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

PATHANAMTHITTA : Indiscriminate mining of laterite soil. Drastic fall in groundwater level. Potable water shortage. The chain of events has left over a hundred families struggling in Kurampala South ward of Pandalam Municipality.

The local residents allege the land mafia, under the patronage of a section of government officers and the local political leadership, is causing serious environment problems in the area.
Though the Revenue divisional authorities issued a stop memo to a Tiruvalla Kuttoor-based person - who was given permission by the Geology and Mining Department to undertake mining and transportation of laterite soil of about 15,000 tonnes - on a complaint filed by the families living near the plot, the illegal mining continues. 

Despite people raising a furore over the large-scale mining in the shadow of the permission, 10 to 20 truckloads of laterite were being taken out from the plot per day, said Raghavan, a local resident.
The indiscriminate mining, he said, is causing potable water shortage due to the falling groundwater level. The lack of a potable water supply scheme of the Kerala Water Authority aggravated the situation.

People are now forced to depend on the municipality’s tanker lorries supplying potable water twice a week, Raghavan said. Western Ghats Samrakshana Samithi district president Avinash Palleenazhikathu told Express the environment situation in Kurampala South is serious.
“Hundreds of families living on the hilly terrain are facing potable water shortage due to the continued indiscriminate land mining,” Avinash said.

He said the Samithi office-bearers will meet the Revenue divisional authorities demanding to take up the serious environment issue and initiate stringent action against the culprits behind the illegal activity. The Samithi will launch an agitation if adequate and proper action is not taken against the illegal land mining, he said.

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