Residents up in arms against sixth stone quarry proposal in their village

The villagers staged a protest inside the meeting hall as RDO Lavanya was late to the hearing for about one hour.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

TENKASI: Residents of Anainthaperumal Nadanoor registered their strong opposition against the sixth stone quarry proposed to be set up near their village during the public hearing chaired by revenue divisional officer Tenkasi Lavanya and district environmental engineer Suyambu Thangarani in Kalathimadam village on Friday.

Questioning the state government's move, M Balamurugan, a resident, said the existing stone quarries are already violating various government norms. "Three stone quarries are actively functioning in our village while the preliminary activities of the other two stone quarries are being carried out despite our opposition. The sixth stone quarry has given various misinformation in their proposal.

The actual distance from the quarry site to the hills, mountain and forest areas were intentionally hidden. Since we are already surrounded by stone quarries, ambulances cannot enter our village during evening hours fearing the blast of high-power explosives. The dust from the existing stone quarries create various health issues for our villagers and has withered our crops. The depletion in groundwater has made farmers leave their occupation," he added.

Advocate Mayilavan said the land, where the new quarry has been proposed to be established, has been categorised as farm land. "The nearby ponds are not shown in the proposal to intentionally mislead the officials. The existing quarries have already dug 300-metre-deep pits against norms. However, officials are showing apathy to take action against them. The management of the proposed quarry tried to gather a crowd for the public hearing by paying them money," he claimed.

Saravanaraj, who is a native of the village, said his lemon and guava trees were destroyed owing to the dust from the existing stone quarries.  Anainthaperumal Nadanoor panchayat president also expressed his opinion against the proposed quarry. Panchayat presidents of Madathur and Thuppakudi villages and district panchayat council member Sudha Chinnathambi took part in the hearing. No residents registered their opinion in favour of the quarry.

The villagers staged a protest inside the meeting hall as RDO Lavanya was late to the hearing for about one hour. She informed them that her participation in some other discussion and the road condition were the reasons for her delay.

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The New Indian Express