Thiruvananthapuram: The death toll during this year’s deluge in Kerala increased mainly because of disastrous landslides, which saw whole families being buried under tons of boulders and mud.
Reports say that last year alone the government had given permission to 129 quarries to start functioning. Around 3. 53 crore tons of stones were quarried in the state.
Surprisingly, while government records say that only 730 quarries are functioning with the requisite permission, there are around 5100 quarries that are illegal and is actively being exploited by the powerful quarry mafia.
There seems to be no records about the amount of stones being taken away from these quarries.
83 quarries are functioning in disaster struck Malappuram district, where 72 are concentrated at Nilamboor taluk. The most affected landslide affected area Kavalappara has 20 quarries.
In one year alone the Mining and Geology Department received 2133 complaints related to illegal mining.
Quarries have completely altered the geography of many ecologically sensitive regions. It has also destroyed the ecosystems and rendered the region prone to landslides.
If laws were effective and the government had not fallen for the quarry mafia, the tragedy of the recent landslides would have been averted.