People of the villages bordering Bengaluru feel they have nowhere to go. A stone quarry that is co-owned by the son of the state police chief is the bane of their lives. But when they sought a Lokayukta inquiry, little happened. Even less after Justice Y Bhaskar Rao took over, they allege.
For the last five years, a stone crusher co-owned with the son of state police chief Om Prakash has been wreaking havoc with their lives, a man from Gavinagamangala village in Ramnagar district told The News Minute.
The man, who requested anonymity, said that there were two stone crushing units in the district initially, started in around 2010-11. Some years later, they were merged into one firm.
According to villagers, the unit which works with granite, only has license from the mines and geology department to carry out stone-cutting operations. However, the man alleges that the unit is carrying out crushing and blasting operations illegally.
Around eight villages in the vicinity of the crushing unit have been facing numerous problems since the unit was set up. These include Matta, Veeregoudanadoddi, Maregooudandoddi, Ramakalpalya, Attingere. He says villagers have to put up with dust, noise, agricultural land and crops, mango plantations, water tanks and residential areas which were being affected.
Om Prakashâ€™ son Karthikesh and his business partner Ashwath had been running two separate units in the area since 2009, according to a Hindu report, which quoted Om Prakash. Denying any illegal activity on his sonâ€™s party, Om Prakash maintained that he had nothing to do with his sonâ€™s business.
â€śMoreover, my son is 30 years old and I have no bearing or connection to his business links,â€ť he told The Hindu.
The resident of Gavinagamangala who spoke to The Hindu said that in 2011 or 12, the farmers of the Hanchikuppe, where the quarry is located, had lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta office.
â€śBack then, there was some action. But since the new Lokayukta took over, we have heard nothing on the case,â€ť he said.
Asked if there were any other complaints, the man said: â€śWe complained with everybody, the home secretary, IGP, DIG, even the chief ministerâ€™s office. We never got an acknowledgement. We have gone to the police also, many times, but they never registered a complaint.â€ť
According to media reports, Ashwath is the brother-in-law of one Narasimhamurthy, a Second Division Clerk in the DGPâ€™s office. Narasimhamurthy was arrested for his alleged close association to Bhaskar, an accused in the Lokayukta scam.