Explosion at quarry site in Karnataka: NGT directs committee to submit report

The National Green Tribunal has formed a six-member committee and directed it to submit a report in connection with a gelatin explosion at a quarry site in Chikkaballapur in Karnataka that left six people dead. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel took note of a media report and issued notices to the Central Pollution Control Board, state pollution control board, Director Mines Karnataka and the District Magistrate Chikkaballapur.

“We constitute a six-member joint committee comprising the CPCB, State PCB, District Magistrate, Chikkaballapur, nominee of Director General, Mines, Chief Controller of Explosives, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Nagpur, and the Director, Mines, Karnataka to give a report to this tribunal,” the bench said.

The nodal agency for coordination and compliance will be the CPCB and the State PCB, the NGT said while adding that the committee may visit the site preferably within next one week and give its report about the cause of the incident.

“Except for visit to the site at least once, the Committee will be free to conduct its proceedings online. It will be free to take the assistance from any other expert/organization.

“The Committee may suitably interact with the stakeholders and, apart from considering the present incident, also consider remedial measures for preventing such incidents in the area or by other establishments even beyond the said area,” the bench said.

The tribunal took cognisance of media report dated February 23, 2021, which reported that six people were killed in a quarry blast in Hirenagavalli, Chikkaballapur on February 22.

The blast occurred in a stone quarry unit situated in Hirenagavalli village. According to the preliminary information shared by the police, the quarrying work was stopped at the site on February 7 after local residents complained of rampant use of gelatin sticks. 

The work continued despite the ban, and another raid was conducted by the police, during which the contractor was warned not to use gelatin. The explosives went off when the men were trying to dispose them off, the NGT noted.

Source: India TV

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