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Quarry clashes in Birbhum again

Tension is brewing in the villages of Birbhum’s Mahammad Bazar block after tribals resisted against the reopening of the stone quarry units in the area.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
September 21, 2010 4:52:58 am

Tension is brewing in the villages of Birbhum’s Mahammad Bazar block after tribals resisted against the reopening of the stone quarry units in the area.The tribals of Pachami villages resisted the quarry owners when they tried to reopen those units early on Monday morning.

Over 160 quarries had been shut down in February after local tribals organised movements there. They had alleged that the units were operating without proper permissions. The illegal operations affected the tribal villages and the environment,said Rabin Saren,leader of the Birbhum Adivasi Gaota.

Birbhum District Magistrate Saumitra Mohan said no quarry unit has received the administration’s permission to operate. The administration,he said,will take steps against the owners after the report of the Land and Land Revenue Department.

On July 30,during his visit to sort out the situation,Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattarcharjee had held discussions with tribal leaders and the administration. Following the meeting,he had said the units will be allowed to run after receiving proper permissions from the state Pollution Control Board.

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But despite the chief minister’s visit,the situation did not improve and the tribals did not allow the quarries to open.On Monday,the quarry owners mobilised labours to reopen the units in Pachami villages.

Saren said permission is required from 13 agencies — including the West Bengal Pollution Control Board — to run a stone quarry. The tribals had demanded that the owners show the permission,which the owners failed to produce.

The administration,the DM said,was keeping a watch on the situation.

Over 160 quarries had been shut down in February after tribals organised movements in the area

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