Mangalore, August 11: The state high court had instructed the state mines and geology department to conduct a detailed study into all the connected aspects and submit a report thereof to the high court in relationship with a public interest litigation filed by the legal services committee seeking to formulate suitable law to regulate loss of lives and other problems emanating from the laterite stone quarries in the state.
Two advocates belonging to Poovaiah and Company Advocates and Solicitors, Bangalore, arrived at Moodbidri on Sunday August 10th for undertaking visits to different laterite stone quarries and collect details towards executing the said order. The duo is representing the legal services committee of the high court.
The spot, where Suraksha (7) and Sukanya (4) had drowned in the standing water of one such quarry on July 20 was visited by the advocates Vikram Hegde and Pratheek. Information was also gathered from the parents of the children. The rule that laterite stone quarries should not be set up within 50 metres of human habitats has been deliberately violated and a dangerous laterite stone quarry had been dug very close to the house of the victims was observed by the team. The advocates were surprised at the fact that no safety measures had been adopted in this quarry.
The areas within a short distance behind the school at Kariyanangady where a number of quarries which may cause grave danger were visited by the team. The advocates noticed that these quarries were full of rainwater as the concerned had left them unfilled after use, as a result of which people as well as school children, who regularly move about in the area are facing grave danger.
The duo visited a similar quarry within Bajpe police station limits which had claimed the lives of Vanishree (12), Meghashree (11), and Yakshita (6), children of Vasu Shettigar and Seeta at Doomadachadavu and collected information.
High court advocate, Vikram Hegde told reporters that during their visits, he and his fellow advocate had found that the laterite stone quarries which are situated in places where school children and the public move, pose dangers and invite accidents. Against most of the quarries, which are functioning violating the rules and regulations; he was surprised of the fact that the departments concerned have woefully failed in their duty to take suitable actions. Instructing conditions like erection of fences around laterite quarries, filling of abandoned quarries with soil after use and using such areas later for other purposes will be reported to the high court, he added.
By Thangamma M M