Stone quarry poses threat to residents of quaint village

COIMBATORE: Perumpathi in Pollachi had once earned laurels for being a self-sustaining village after the villagers joined hands with the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) for harvesting different varieties of fodder crops and with the Veterinary University Training and Research Centre (VUTRC) in raising livestock. Today, over 300 families residing there are facing an existential threat as a private firm is planning to set up a stone quarry in the locality.
The residents said that they will lose their livelihood if the government gives license to operate the quarry, just 250 meter away from the farmlands. “We have been residing here for more than a decade. Our houses will develop cracks when they start to blast the rocks,” said V Gopal, a resident of Perumpathi, who has submitted a petition to the Pollachi sub-collector, requesting the government not to provide license for the quarry.
The livelihood of the villagers is dependent on milk production and they have been selling milk by establishing a milk society there. “Our livelihood is completely dependent on livestock and agriculture. If the quarry starts functioning, we will have to vacate the village,” Gopal told TOI.

With farmlands outlining the quarry, trees would not bear fruits once the crushers start to function, said T Dharmaraj, a farmer. Dust from crushers would not just affect the farmland, but also would be a threat to the livestock and residents, he said.
Debris from blasting the rocks would pose a serious threat to the livestock, apart from causing serious health problems among the residents, said environmentalist R Mohammad Saleem. “The chances are high that the underground water table would also be polluted,” he said.
While the revenue department has started to invite objections from the villagers around the quarry, works to construct the crusher near the quarry has begun. As per a government order, no quarry that is within 300meters of residential, commercial or industrial area would be given license to operate and no crushers within 500 meters of residential area would be given permission, said an official from the department.
The officials said they would look into issue as the individual had sought permission to establish crusher and the mines department was yet to approve it.


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