Kottayam: Even when the landslide hit Koottickal following the heavy rains on Saturday, the quarries in the area continued operation. The locals said that the sounds of explosion from the quarries could be heard even during the disaster. They did not stop work in the torrential rains too.
The landslide struck hills in Kavali, Plappally and Poovanchi of Koottickal and Kokkayar panchayats are only five kilometres away from the quarries. The 4000 square feet area in this place falls under ecologically fragile zones of Western Ghats. Despite this, quarrying using dreadful explosives continues here. Most of the quarries are more than 10 years old.
The quarry functioning at Vallientha resumed mining after a break and it has license to operate from 2021 to 2024. As the contract of the quarry at Kodunga expired, mining has stopped here while the quarry in Poovanchi is still operating. Though there are only three quarries mentioned in the data, more than 17 were spotted in the satellite images.