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Stone quarries in undivided Koraput defy Odisha govt ban on use of explosives

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Reported by Ranjan Rath
Koraput, Oct 28:

Defiant quarry owners have been brazenly defying the Odisha government ban on use of explosives in quarry mining sites in undivided Koraput district.

stone quarry

Aware of the Maoist activities in Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts, who generally target the police and the Central para-military forces with explosives of high intensity, the government had ordered a strict ban on the use of explosives in the quarry mining sites.

During a recent visit to Humagunji village under Ambadala police station limits of Rayagada district, OST found rampant use of high explosives at a quarry mining site at a nearby hill area.

When contacted on the matter, deputy director of Mines, Koraput, Pravat Kumar Ojha said the department of Mines had given a prospecting license (PL) to Hemant Kumar Rout for the year 2013-14 and 2014-15.

He also said while the department of mines has the power to award mining license, the district administration has the power to issue license for blasting.

Muniguda SDPO Anant Mallick, when asked about the use of explosives in quarry mining, said the police have not given permission to anyone to conduct stone blasting in the area.

He however, said that the investigation is on into the use of explosives in quarrying activity in Humagunji village and action would be taken against the guilty after the final report of the investigation.

“Due to frequent blasting of stones, cracks have appeared in most of the houses in our villages. We are afraid of venturing into the blasting sites to graze our cattle,” said Guludika Sridhar of Humagunji, Shakuntala Dandasena of Paika Dahikhala, and Damodar Kadraka and Dingu Guludika of Punjipai village.

Apart from Rayagada district, high explosives are being used in more than 30 quarry mining sites in the undivided Koraput district.

It may be recalled that the Maoists had planted landmines in these areas of Rayagada district in the recent past while the police had seized huge quantity of explosives, used for stone quarrying, from a vehicle near Muniguda.