Vigilance officials conducted a raid on the Pallichal Panchayat office based on reports that the panchayat authorities had given licences illegally to the quarries functioning at Mookunnimala.
A team under Vigilance SP E Sharafudeen conducted the raid on Monday. The raid was held after several complaints were raised against the quarries before the District Collector, Panchayat Ombudsman and other Revenue officials.
Stating that it was just a preliminary inquiry, Vigilance SP E Sharafudeen said that they had conducted the raid after the Vigilance Director had given them the green signal based on the widespread allegations. ‘’We are looking at the various records. We need some time to reach a conclusion,’’ he said.
In the complaints submitted by Mookunnimala Samrakshana Samithi and others, it was alleged that there was a nexus between the quarry owners and the panchayat authorities. Most of the quarries were functioning even without getting the No-Objection Certificate from the respective departments.
The Mookunnimala issue has been boiling for quite a long time with the residents in Pallichal Panchayat engaged in a continuous struggle.
They had even threatened to resort to a sit-in in front of the Secretariat until the quarry units are shut down.
Though a meeting was held last month between the quarry owners and the Mookunnimala Samrakshana Samithi leaders, a consensus could not be arrived. The District Collector will be submitting a report on the issue in the High Court very soon.
Mookunnimala Samrakshana Samithi leaders said that they were waiting for the report of the Collector that would be submitted in the High Court shortly. They stressed that they would not retract from their agitation and would intensify the agitation until all the quarries are closed.