Shivapura Sep 1 2017 DH news: A stone crusher unit functioning at Yelagoli village under Shivapura Gram Panchayat jurisdiction is posing a threat to the residents as their houses have developed huge cracks in the walls.
The aggrieved villagers gathered in large numbers and were in tears over their plight as their houses have developed cracks in one or the other wall. The unit belongs to one Prasanna Suda.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Friday, Vasanthi Shetty, who lives with her 35-year-old mentally challenged daughter, spoke about her pathetic condition. She said her house has developed cracks and the boulders, crushed using the crusher machine, are spewed out to distant places causing harm to the tiles of the roof top, she added.
“Sometimes, I and my daughter do not sleep at night,” she rued.
“My daughter is not able to understand the consequences. She just starts screaming and gets frightened when the smashed pieces of the boulders fall on the rooftop,” she poured out her woes.
The area has 40 houses belonging to Shetty and Achar communities. In most of the houses, the men are in distant places to earn livelihood. Women in the households are staying with their kids. They go either for daily wage work or to the cashew industries to peel the skin of cashew nuts.
The residents said the Panchayat is also indirectly supporting the stone crusher unit owner.
Vasanthi also charged that she was forcibly pulled out from her house by a drunkard policeman from Hebri police station who accompanied the Panchayat members to make her vacate the land, which she has inherited from her mother.
She said that whoever raises objections are threatened by knocking doors at midnight. The women are helpless and they listen to all sorts of abuses and face the threat of assault if they come out, she said.
Susheela Shetty, a resident, has vacated her house following the fear of collapse.
The crusher unit, which is functioning from 1993, has massively polluted the environment. There is a reserve forest area under Kundapur forest division. The leaves of the trees in the thick forest are filled with dust and their colour has changed, the residents said.
Uday Shetty, who works in Gujarat and has come down to his native place following the problem, said that the main earning in the area depends on paddy cultivation and in turn, the paddy growers depend on the water which flows from the hills irrigating 100-200 acres of paddy fields. Following continuous stone cursing activities in the area, the water is now mixed with hordes of dust and stone particles, which has destroyed the growth and polluted the fertility of soil, he said.
Guruprasad, who works as an electric technician at Hebri, said at least three 10-wheel lorries ply regularly and the roads are damaged throwing out dust continuously.
When Upa Lokayukta Subhash Adi had come down some two years ago, it was stopped for about three months, he said.
Some children in the area also expressed fear to go to schools as they are worried over constantly rolling down boulders from the hill and feel suffocation due to the dust.
It is learnt that the Panchayat had only allotted six acres of land on lease. However, the unit owner has encroached 30 acres of land in the area and claims the right over land, it is said.