No action on report of illegal mining


By Sradha Meloot

Thiruvananthapuram: It was in 2017 that the Vigilance that inquired into the illegal quarry activities in Mookunnimala gave its report. Two years have lapsed with no action from the authorities even as illegal quarrying activities are alleged to be going on in the Hill.

In the report, the vigilance had said that illegal mining in the hill had caused the state exchequer a loss of Rs 291.59 crore. This amount was apart from the amount of royalty and fine that was to be imposed on the quarries, which calculated could be roughly Rs 1000 crore.

Despite a comprehensive report after a large scale survey was conducted in the hill and reports of continuous illegal activities, environmentalists and people living nearby are quite apprehensive about the silence.

The report has pointed out large scale destruction to the environment and also mining beyond the required parameters and also in public lands. Even as the report has come out, it is known that several quarries owners are still functioning with the knowledge of the authorities. One or two quarries have claimed to have got the permission for quarrying. However, Samara Samithi activists alleged that these quarries claiming permission were engaged in illegal mining activities.

An activist told IFNS that one could hear blasts even at nights and also in mornings. No one is here to check if these activities are being done in a legal manner.
He also said that it was high time that the authorities took some steps on the vigilance report.

The Vigilance report had pointed out that illegal mining was done in more than 130 acres of land and vast stretches of public land were even converted as private properties. It has also revealed that fake documents were also made to transfer public lands to private persons.

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