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Hazardous Water-Filled Pits from Stone Pose Threat in Karkala and Hebri

Hazardous Water Filled Pits From Stone Mining Pose Threat In Karkala And Hebri Taluks

Udupi, Jun 22: With the onset of the monsoon, water-filled pits around rock shards in Karkala and Hebri taluks have become significant threats to local residents’ safety. These pits, a result of extensive laterite stone mining, have turned into hazardous ‘death traps’ and require urgent remedial action.

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In both Karkala and Hebri taluks, widespread mining activities have left large, dangerous pits uncovered. These pits now fill with water during the rainy season, posing risks to residents who live nearby. Despite the risks, these areas lack protective barriers, allowing people to approach dangerously close, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

The rocky landscape of Karkala, known for its stone crushers and cutters, sees daily mining activities in areas like Nandalike, Kalya, Nitte, Doopadakatte, Suda Padubettu, Nelligudde, Palli, Miyar, and Mala. The proliferation of these deep pits without proper closure or safety measures has made the taluks of Karkala and Hebri particularly vulnerable, with over 60 crushers and 250 unauthorized shards in Udupi district.

Residents, especially women and children, face serious risks as these water-filled pits lack fences, warning signs, and are often close to residential areas and roads. Tragic incidents have already occurred, including fatalities and injuries, highlighting the urgent need for safety measures.

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“The large, lake-like pits formed by rock shards lack essential safety features, making them incredibly dangerous. Despite some signboards, the absence of barriers allows unrestricted access, posing severe risks during the monsoon season,” said concerned villager Ramesh.

Narasappa, tahsildar of Karkala, emphasized, “The deputy commissioner’s directives are clear, and the mining department must ensure worker safety. A taluk-level meeting on May 27 will address these concerns ahead of the rainy season, with instructions to village panchayat development officers (PDOs).”

Immediate action is crucial to manage these hazardous pits and prevent further accidents, ensuring the safety of local residents.

 

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