Quarries should be 200m away from residential areas, recommends Assembly committee

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Assembly Committee for Environment has recommended that the distance between quarries and residential areas should be increased to at least 200m. The committee with Mullakkara Ratnakaran further said that the repair works of roads damaged due to quarry activities should be funded by quarry owners.

The ordered distance between quarries and residential areas is presently 50m. The committee observed that even if it is increased to 300m, the impact of the quarry activities would still be felt in houses.

The committee also recommend to use blade cutting and non-electric methods instead of ammonium nitrate and other chemicals and to cancel the licenses of those still not using non-electric methods.

A monitoring panel should be formed including public representatives and department officials to ensure quarries function abiding to rules, committee further noted.

The rocks are a natural resource and so everyone has the right to use it. Hence a price control should be brought in for the products. For those falling in BPL category, subsidy should be provided on rock products for house construction in a limited quantity, it recommended.

Other recommendations

An expert panel should study whether the quarries result in landslides and soil piping. Also, the impact of quarries on water resources, the effect on soil structure due to its functioning should be examined scientifically.

Drone mapping, GPS in vehicles should be introduced to control the functioning of quarries and crushers and to check loss of income.

A security amount should be collected from quarry owners to meet the damages while granting sanction. This should be ensured by framing law.

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