Indefinite strike by Quarry owners may affect progress of Kochi Metro Rail project

Kochi: Concern over the shortage of granite for the construction of Kochi Metro Rail and other projects mounted as the indefinite strike launched by granite quarry owners in the state entered the third day.

The contractors of the metro project normally have an inventory for two weeks and if the strike prolongs, works may get affected, said a spokesman of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

The quarry owners launched the strike from Friday protesting against an order by the Green Tribunal that all activities related to mining should get a clearance from the ministry of environment and forests. “The state government should take immediate measures to get a relief from the Green Tribunal’, M.A. Yousuf district president of Kerala Quarry and Crusher Operators Association said.

According to him, out of the nearly 3,000 granite quarries operating in the state, only 63 have the licence from the MOEF. A majority of quarries in the state belong to the category of less than five hectares which were not required to possess the licence from the MOEF, he added

The green tribunal verdict however had made the licence mandatory for all mining activities including those coming under the category of five hectares. The state government had filed an appeal a few days ago in the green tribunal seeking one-year’s time to implement its directive in the state.