A consensus could not be reached in the Mookkunnimala quarry issue with the Mookkunnimala Samrakshana Samithi and the quarry owners sticking to their respective stands. After the talks with the Samara Samithi and the quarry owners failed on Wednesday, District Collector Biju Prabhakar said that he would file within two weeks an interim report before the High Court on the present situation.
‘’The talks have failed. I will file an interim report in the High Court about the present situation at Mookkkunimala and about the outcome of the discussion with the Samara Samthi and quarry owners,’’ he said.
Prabhakar also said that the ban on lorry movement from the quarry through the Arikkadamukku - Edakodu - Mookkunnimala Road would continue. However, he said that vehicles carrying drinking water and other materials to the quarry will not be stopped.
The Collector had called the Mookkunnimala Samrakshana Samithi and the quarry owners for a meeting after the High Court issued a directive to take necessary steps with regard to the issues raised by the people in the region. Earlier, he had held separate meetings with the two parties.
In the latest meeting, the Samara Samithi leaders expressed their concerns and reiterated their demand of the closure of all quarries. They said that the quarry activities have been causing environmental and health hazards. The quarry owners maintained that they could not close the quarries as crores of rupees have been invested and demanded protection.
The District Collector had visited Mookkunnimala early in April and took stock of the situation. He visited all the quarries and held discussions with the people living near the quarries.
The residents in Pallichal Panchayat, for the last many months, have been engaged in a continuous struggle. They had even decided to go in for a widespread agitation, including a sit-in in front of the Secretariat, until the quarry units are shut down. They had staged a sit-in in front of the Panchayat office in the first week of April, demanding revocation of licences renewed to quarrying units. Some of the Samithi leaders had even boycotted the recent Lok Sabha elections.