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No threat to airport: officials

Staff Correspondent

They say quarrying in the nearby hillock has not affected its stability


Granite quarrying is taking place at Karambar village

‘Removal of laterite stones does not lead to landslides'




CLARIFICATION:Director of the airport M.R. Vasudeva (left) and Deputy Director of the Department of Mines and Geology B.M. Ravindra at a press conference in Mangalore on Friday.

MANGALORE: The Department of Mines and Geology and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said on Friday that the Mangalore airport is situated on a structurally stable hillock. There is no room for unnecessary apprehensions about the stability of the land on which the terminal buildings and runways have been built, they said.

The statements came following reports in a section of the print and electronic media that quarrying near the airport was posing a threat to the stability of the hillock on which the airport is situated.

B.M. Ravindra, Deputy Director, Department of Mines and Geology, Dakshina Kannada, and M.R. Vasudeva, Director of the airport on Friday, took presspersons around the hillock through a narrow road connecting Bajpe and Kenjar villages. Granite quarrying is taking place on a separate hillock, which is not connected to the one on which the airport buildings and runways are situated. The two hillocks are separated by a deep valley. The quarry is to the north-west of the airport, in Karambar village.

Mr. Ravindra told presspersons that the two granite quarries in Karambar village were 30 years old and more than a kilometre away from the nearest point of the new integrated terminal building of the airport. Its distance from other locations such as runways was about 3 km. The quarrying had not adversely affected the structure and stability of the airport, he said. Mr. Ravindra said that according to the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1994, any quarry involving blasting should be located at a 200-m distance from any public structure. Otherwise, it could be at a distance of 50 m from a public structure.

He said that the four laterite stone quarries in Adyapadi village are all 300 m to 400 m from the south-eastern side of the airport. Laterite stones are removed with a cutting machine. Mr. Ravindra said that the airport region, including the hillock on which it is situated, had a hard “unweathered and unfractured base of granite rocks that will not be affected even in the event of a moderate tremor measuring 2 to 3 on the Richter Scale”.

“It is not true that extraction of laterite stones lead to landslides. Landslides in coastal regions of the State occur under special conditions as studied in Kethikal, Kadawada, Neriya or Eliyarapadavu areas. Such geo-environmental settings conducive for landslides are not found in the Bajpe Adyapady region,” Mr. Ravindra added.

Mr. Vasudeva said that the court of inquiry into the Mangalore air crash had, during a recent public hearing here, directed the airport to take appropriate measures if quarrying was posing a threat to the airport strip.

Subsequently, the State Government had been asked not to permit quarrying that might threaten the hillock on which the airport is situated. This had been done as a precautionary measure, he said.

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