Mandya: The trial blast which started from Monday July 25 to find out whether the world famous KRS Dam is in danger due to stone mining in Babybetta has ended in a single day. Despite strong opposition, the District Administration, which was planning to conduct a trial blast, yielded to the pressure of the farmers and temporarily postponed the trial blast process.
Around 25 farmer leaders participated in the meeting held at Mandya Deputy Commissioner’s Office here on Monday in this regard. The farmers, who discussed the pros and cons of trial blast in the presence of DC, Mines officials, Superintendent of Police, Deputy Conservator of Forests and other officials, they urged postponement of blasts for a week. But DC Ashwathi said that the trial blast was inevitable due to technical reasons and said she would discuss the decision at the Government level. The farmers who waited for hours for DC’s decision decided to stay at the DC’s Office as there was no clarification. Yielding to the pressure of the farmers, the DC announced that she will temporarily postpone the trial blast.
A team of four geoscientists from the CSIR Institute in Dhanbad, Jharkhand had arrived to conduct a test blast at 5 locations around Babybetta. Initially, the farmers strongly opposed the trial blast, which was scheduled to be held from July 25 to July 31. The farmers started the Go Back movement against the scientists and took out a bike rally from near the main gate of the KRS reservoir to Babybetta. The villagers of Kaveripura, Bannangadi, Babybetta, and many other villages held a protest opposing trial blast.
The Mysuru royal family has intervened in the matter following controversy over the trial blast. Pramoda Devi Wodeyar, the royal mother of Mysore State, wrote an objection letter to Mandya DC regarding the trial blast on Monday July 25. Her lawyer D. V. Narendra sent objection letter to DC.
Pramoda Devi Wodeyar, who objected through an e-mail on June 22, did not get any response, and hence sent a letter to the DCs office on Monday. She mentioned in the letter that the total 1,623 acres of land in Babybetta Survey No. 1 Amrit Mahal belongs to the royal family and questioned the permission for trial blast and mining in private property. In 2018-19, she had applied twice to the Revenue Department to get the survey number in one account in her name. As per 1950 Gazette Notification it is our private property. Trial blasting without our permission is illegal. There is an objection that the permission was given without our consent. She said the permission should be withdrawn immediately. She also warned that legal action would be initiated if trial blast is not stopped.