Karnataka to audit explosives in mines, quarries: Minister


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Taking a serious note of two blasts in quarries in a gap of a month, Karnataka has decided to conduct an audit of explosive materials in all the quarries and mines across the state, the Home minister, Basavaraj Bommai said here on Thursday.

Addressing mediapersons, Bommai said that such an audit will be carried out jointly by officials of mines and geology and the home department in the state. "We are going to form special teams soon and then carry out searches of all mines and quarries across the state and audit of explosives will be carried out," he added.

In response to a question, the Home minister said that the joint team will be conducting search operations of all mines including illegal ones. "That goes without saying. This operation is all about taking stock of explosives and not to protect or shield anyone," he retorted.

He also quickly added that search operations used to be carried out once in three or four months, but in the wake of two blasts in a gap of month has forced the state government to relook into this duration of carrying out inspections.

"At the moment, we are discussing how to carry out searches once in a month or once in a fortnight. We will soon finalise this in order to tighten the mine audit system," the home minister said and added that he had already held a round of discussion with Karnataka mines and geology minister, Murugesh R. Nirani.

In the first horrific incident, six persons were killed when a truckload of explosives exploded near a quarry on January 22 on the outskirts of Shivamogga, which is the home district of Karnataka chief minister, B. S. Yediyurappa and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister, K. S. Eshwarappa.

In the latest incident on February 23, six victims were killed while allegedly disposing of illegally hoarded gelatin sticks in a campfire in a quarry near Hirenagavalli hamlet in Chikballapur district. Karnataka health minister, K. Sudhakar represents Chikkaballapur constituency who is also district in-charge minister.

Source: IANS

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