REUSE OF ABANDONED QUARRIES AND MINE PITS KERALA

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE OCTOBER 2011

Vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dtd. 25-02-2011 Thiruvananthapuram

Acknowledgements We thank the GOK (Industries Department) for identifying us to assign the task of Quarry and mine pit reuse measures study. We wrote the text that appears in the following pages, after an in-depth literature research and study of the best practices in this regard in the leading countries of the world. We had had field visits, discussions with stake holders, other scientists and non-governmental organizations. In this context, we owe a special word of thanks to the following organizations, officials, and non-officials. The Principal Secretary, Industries Department, GOK, Shri. T. Balakrishnan (Addl. Chief Secretary, GOK) is the moving spirit behind initiation of this project. We also appreciate deeply the keen curiosity of Shri. Rajesh Kumar Singh (Secretary, Dept. of LSG, GOK) in this project. We, the members of the Sub-Committee (SC), sincerely acknowledge help, cooperation and ambience afforded by the Director and professional and administrative staff, Department of Mining and Geology, Government of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. We tender our special gratitude to M/s. Jacob Punnen (Consultant Mining Engineer, Trivandrum) and Jacob Kurien (Formerly Director, KMED Project and Department of Mining and Geology), for their critical and thoughtful contributions in tempering our minds in this task. We also place on record the scientific inputs from the Director, CESS, Akkulam, Trivandrum; Regional Director, CGWB, Trivandrum; Director, Geological Survey of India, Trivandrum; Director, GWD, Government of Kerala, Trivandrum and the Kerala State Landuse Board, Trivandrum. The SC in order to gather the views of the LSGs, circulated to all District Panchayats in the state, a set of five data sheets for filling in/recording response from Panchayats coming under their jurisdiction.

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We dispatched a set of data sheets each to the Secretaries of the DPs along with a request to make photocopies of the same if need be for distribution in the GPs to collect their response. On this theme, the SC had a face to face interaction with the Chairperson, Secretary and some members of the DP, Trivandrum. Prof. (Dr.) A. Bijukumar, Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus enthusiastically contributed to this effort by answering the some relevant points in the data sheet. M/s. English India Clays Ltd. and Dakshin Clay Mines (P) Ltd. (both operating in T’puram dist) afforded a cordial welcome and a safe visit to the mine pits in their operational areas. Dr. Babu Ambatt, (Executive Director CED, Trivandrum) and his team of scientists, facilitated a roundtable with us on our own request, which helped to flag very useful points/positions on Quarry reuse modalities. But for the help and co-operation of local quarry men and members of the civil society, our visits to a large number of abandoned quarries and some operating quarries and clay and laterite pits and china clay mines in Kerala would not have been useful and rewarding. The Sub-Committee October 2011

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Members of the Sub-Committee (G.O. (Ms.) No. 57/2011/ID dtd. 25.02.2011) 1. Sri. Chandramohana Kumar, K.R. Senior Geologist (Rtd., Department of Mining and Geology Kanakavilasam, MERA-3, Chalakuzhy Road, Medical College P.O., Thiruvananthapuram-695 011 2. Prof. (Dr.) Thrivikramji K.P. Convener Head of Department of Geology (Rtd.) University of Kerala C/32 Sankar Lane, Sasthamangalam, Thiruvananthapuram-695 010 3. Sri. M.P. Muraleedharan Director, Geological Survey of India (Rtd.) Ashwini, 300B, Gandhi Nagar, Vazhthacaud, Thiruvananthapuram-695 014 4. Sri. J. Pradeep Kukillaya Director, Ground Water Department (Rtd.) DPN 146, Survey School Road, Peroorkada P.O., Thiruvananthapuram-695 005 5. Prof. (Dr.) V.K. Venugopal Head of Department of Soil Science (Rtd.) Kerala Agricultural University, College of Agriculture, Vellayani Madhavi Nivas, GRA 231 , Kottara Lane, Gowrishapattom, Thiruvananthapuram695 004

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Glossary ADB: Asian Development Bank Aerobic compost: A method of composting biodegradable waste in windrows Agro forestry: A land management system that integrates agricultural crops with forest species AQ&MP: Abandoned Quarry and Mine Pit Aquaculture: Also known as aqua farming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants Aquifer: A saturated underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well ar: are Artificial aquifer: An aquifer created by placing aggregates of appropriate specifications in an abandoned quarry Bathychart: Bathychart (or hydrographic) charts are typically produced to support safety of surface or sub-surface navigation, and usually show seafloor relief or terrain as contour lines (called depth contours or isobaths) and selected depths (soundings), and typically also provide surface navigational information Biogas: Typically refers to a gaseous fuel produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen Biological reuse: Rehabilitation measures involving plant and animal species BOT: Build, Operate and Transfer Brick and tile clay pit: An extraction pit for red brick and tile making clay; usually located in modern or ancient floodplains of rivers CESS: Centre for Earth Science Studies, Akulam, Thiruvananthapuram CGWB: Central Ground Water Board, Kesavadsapuram, Trivandrum 695004 China clay mine: An organized commercial surface mining project for extracting raw china clay Composite quarry: A quarry which started operating as a shelf or L-shaped quarry, later transformed into a pit (U-shaped one) on continued extraction
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DMG: Department of Mining and Geology, Government of Kerala DPR: Detailed Project Report Eco-restoration: An intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability EFA: Ecologically Fragile Area Ela: Malayalam word for a contiguous stretch of Paddy fields usually confined on either side with toes of slopes ESA: Ecologically Sensitive Area GOI: Government of India GOK: Government of Kerala GP: Grama Panchayat Groundwater: Water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and fractures of rock formations GSI: Geological Survey of India, (founded in 1851) is an attached office of the Ministry of Mines, GOI. GSI is the prime provider and repository of basic earth science information. From 2004 onwards, GSI is also the nodal agency in the country for landslide studies (Hazard zonation and mitigation studies) ha: hectare Horticulture: the study, activity covering different disciplines related to production of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants Hydroseeding: A single step process involving spraying of slurry of seed, fertilizer, top soil, farm manure and water Kole: Low-lying floodplain, fertile paddy lands in Thrissur and Malappuram districts. Kole is the Malayalam equivalent of bumper yield as crop failures were very common in the historic days. Laterite pit: A pit out of which the laterite bricks are cut and partly dressed inplace and extracted and used widely as in building construction in the Malabar districts Laterite: a red, residual soil containing large amounts of aluminum and ferric hydroxides, formed by the decomposition of many kinds of rocks, and found esp. in well-drained tropical rain forests

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Lease: A contract by which one party (landlord or lessor) gives to another (tenant, or lessee) the use and possession of land, buildings, property, etc. for a specified time and for fixed payments LSG: Local Self Government ML: Mining Lease msl: mean sea level NGO: Non-Governmental Organization Pattaland: A piece of privately owned land Permit: A document granting permission; license; warrant Pisciculture: Breeding and rearing of fish as a science or industry. Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture PL: Prospecting Lease Poramboke: A parcel of land whose sole owner is the government QDB: Quarry Data Base QRAC: Quarry Reuse Advisory Cell Quarry rim: A line along which head of a quarry wall and surrounding ground meet Quarry shoulder: A ribbon like strip of land adjoining the far side of the quarry rim Quarry: A quarry is a type of open-pit mine or shelf facilitating extraction of rubble mechanically or manually Recharge of aquifer: A hydrologic process where water moves downward from surface to replenish groundwater Refilling: Process of completely/partially covering a natural or made depression or pit (for e.g., an abandoned quarry) with environmentally harmless waste Reuse measure: measure intended to convert sites once used for extraction (e.g., quarry) without harming the environment Rogue Quarry: Amenable only to fencing and cordoning-off. Royalty: A revenue levied by the government from the lessee. RQP: Recognized Qualified Person SC: Sub-committee appointed by the GOK based on the GO
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SHG: Self Help Group Silvopasture: Agroforestry practice integrating livestock, forage production and forestry in the same land management system TCCPSG: Technical committee under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to Government (2009) Theme park: A park dedicated to specific theme like water sports, camping, sport fishing etc Water harvesting structure: Any artificial structure with an open “mouth” that will efficiently capture and store every drop of water entering /falling into it Water-logging: Accumulation of water in variable depths in the quarries WB: World Bank ***************

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS MEMBERS OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE GLOSSARY OF TERMS CH.-I: EXECUTIVE RECOMMENDATIONS CH.-II: A PROFILE OF QUARRYING IN KERALA CH.-III: RESTORATION MEASURES FOR QUARRIES AND MINE PITS AN OVERVIEW CH.-IV: SUMMARY

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APPENDICES I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. Know Your Quarry- A Course Outline Quarry Study Tour “Green” Fund for reuse treatment of quarries Quarry Reuse Advisory Cell, Q-RAC Quarry Data Cell, Q-DAC Inventorying of Quarriable Tracts in Kerala Redesign DMG Website with Additional Content Scientific Advisory Board Quarry Enumeration Sheet (Draft) Press Release and Responses Questionnaire on reuse of abandoned quarries

Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

CHAPTER-I EXECUTIVE RECOMMENDATIONS The GOK issued an order vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011, constituting a sub-committee (SC) to undertake a study on the reuse of abandoned quarries/mine pits. This report is aimed at enabling the government to formulate policy/strategy for the rehabilitation of abandoned quarries in the state, which are at present blemishes on the landscape and dreaded points of accidental drowning deaths. The study the first of its kind in the state and perhaps in the country is envisaged to aid in the preparation and implementation of rehabilitation and reuse of abandoned quarries thereby minimizing impairment to the quality of soil, land, water, air and environment, which constitute the basis for all living systems. The recommendations on the mandate of the SC are presented under the following sub heads: 1. Current state of quarries and quarrying in Kerala 2. Quarry reuse measures and their implementation 3. Recommended measures for ensuring the safety and security 4. Identifying the agency which can restore the abandoned quarries. 5. Legal/legislative measures for quarrying and reuse 6. Financial implications and support needed 7. Restoration of quarry pits in a phased manner giving priority to category of quarry, area and danger to the public. 8. Success stories of quarry/mine reclamation 9. Other recommendations The SC identifies a host of reuse options which can be successfully implemented through community/stakeholder participation. The abandoned quarries which are currently “bold eyesores” can be transformed to “Oases of sustainable livelihood support systems” of the masses, managed by the community and monitored by the LSGs, leading to better protection and conservation of natural ecosystems.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

1.1.

Current Status of Quarries and Quarrying 1. The state has a very large number of quarries, a staggering 8,00010,000 according to the Kerala Quarry Owners Association - a self interest group. It roughly works out to be 8 or 10 quarries per panchayat. 2. The quarries are primarily used for extraction of runoff quarry rubble or to produce value added products or for producing brick and tile clays. 3. Due to the relatively low unit cost of the quarry products, this industry is distributed far and wide in the state and the only ruling constraints regarding spatial distribution are purely geological. 4. Even though quarries have a wide range of size, (say anywhere between 10 or 15 ares to several hectares), the smaller quarries have a low operational life whereas the larger ones are of the order of hectares in terms of the areal extent, and most have been operational for the last several decades. 5. The quarry land ownership varies widely in the state, many are in patta land, some are operated on leased patta land, and still others are in poramboke or public land. Such varied land ownership obviously creates hurdles wherein implementation of reuse treatment utilizing public funds or third party donated funds come face to face with certain legal hurdles. The GOK will have to come up with solutions for removing such hurdles. 6. Currently, the DMG keeps an automated data base of quarries of the state and only data pertaining to eight of the southern districts have populated the database. The creation of database, being a crucial piece of centralized facility, is progressing rather “slow”. At the current pace, the database might take a couple of more years to attain full coverage of the state and functionality.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

7.

This state can be remedied only by switching to a mission mode program of basic field data collection and supplementing it from the paper files in the office/s of DMG.

8.

All the hard rock quarries and many of the pits remain flooded most of the time during the monsoon seasons and the operations get disrupted. Pumping the ponded water is the only recourse before the operator to ensure the uninterrupted supply of rubble or other rubble based manufactured products.

9.

The inspection in various districts revealed one or two points, viz., the quarry pits are flooded and stay that way for the rest the year, so that the water accumulating is available for one or the other type of societal use.

10.

Laterite pits and tile and brick clay pits are sort of exceptions, in that if suitably located on the land surface, such pits shall serve very useful recharge structures of GW to the aquifers.

1.2.

QUARRY REUSE MEASURES RECOMMENDED REUSE OPTIONS: U-SHAPED ROCK QUARRY Summary of Recommendations

I.2.1-A:

1. Type of Quarry

U-shaped quarry. Two types: a. Deep quarry (water column > 2.0 m) and b. Shallow quarry (water column ≤ 2.0 m) a. Physical treatment like stabilization of shoulders/rims; easing of head of slopes, rough levelling of quarry floor, developing/managing of lower order channels. b. Depth charting of reservoir area.

2. PreTreatment

A. Deep Quarry (Possible Reuse measures) a. Water reservoir (drinking/irrigation/water sports) 3. Reuse measures b. Aquaculture site (e.g. Pisciculture etc.) c. Artificial aquifer d. Vegetative greening of quarry-walls e. GW recharge source

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

Specifics of Recommendations: U-Shaped Deep Quarry
Drinking water source with/without treatment. a. Water reservoir Irrigation Swimming, diving, boating Picnic and camping sites etc. on the back shores b. Aquaculture site c. Artificial aquifer d. Vegetative greening of quarry-walls e. GW recharge source Edible/ornamental fish farming Cultivation of flowering aquatic plants (e.g., Lotus, Water lilies) Suitably refilling a small quarry in areas of severe drinking water scarcity to create an artificial aquifer. Vast areas of stone quarry walls greened by planting vetiver on multi-storey, “perched”, planting ditches fixed on quarry face with rock bolt and thin reinforced concrete-slab/toughened plastic-plank. (A wide practice in many quarries in China). Water siphoned off to recharge-pits,-wells and –ponds.

Summary of Recommendations: U-Shaped Shallow Quarry
B. Shallow Quarry (Possible Reuse measures) a. Aquaculture 4. Reuse measures b. Pisciculture c. Composting site d. Fruit crops e. Vegetable and tubers

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

Specifics of Recommendations: Shallow Quarry
Shallow quarries (Reuse measures) a. Aquaculture b. Pisciculture c. Composting site d. Fruit Crops e. Vegetable & Tubers Cultivation of aquatic flowering plants, like lotus and water lilies Edible/ornamental fish farming (e.g. for edible fishes Tilappia, Catla, Rohu) Aerobic composting of biodegradable waste of neighbouring community Banana, Gooseberry, Pineapple, Papaya Moringa and Koval, Yams (Chena, Kachil, Chembu), Sweet Potato (Madhura Kizhangu)

Recommendations: Rogue Quarry
Amenable only to rim/shoulder stabilization by hydro-seeding, “Rogue” geo-textiles carpeting and planting tree species. Erecting (1) protective metallic barricade around the rim (2) hazard warning signs and (3) depth charts

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

I.2.1-B:

RECOMMENDED REUSE OPTIONS: L-SHAPED ROCK QUARRY Summary of Recommendations

1. Type of Quarry 2. PreTreatment

L-shaped quarry Physical treatment, i.e., stabilization of shoulders/rims; easing of head of slopes, rough leveling of quarry floor, developing/managing of lower order channels and preservation of water reservoir in quarry. a. Plant nurseries b. Forage farm c. Silvopasture

3. Reuse measures i. Quarry floor

d. Composting yard e. Mini-biogas plant site f. Mini-livestock farms g. Mini-piggeries h. Mini-solar electric farms i. j. Crematoria Highway side rest area for motorists

k. Education site

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

Specifics of Recommendations: Quarry Floor
a. Plant nurseries b. Forage cultivation c. Silvopasture d. Composting yard e. Mini-biogas plant site f. Mini-livestock farms g. Mini-piggeries h. Mini-solar electric farms i. Crematoria j. Roadside rest area k. Education site Composite nurseries of multi-purpose trees, fruit, vegetable crops, medicinal plants and forage. Grass species viz., Guinea, fodder trees, Subabul, Gliricidia, green manure crops dhainja, sun hemp Planting of bamboo, Casurina and fodder grass Aerobic composting site; waste supplied by neighbouring communities Feedstock is aerobic compost E.g., dairy, poultry etc. as a community livelihood support system Seclusion of site qualifies for pig farming Co-exist with the rest of activities. Erection of solar panels on southerly facing quarry walls Ideal site for locating modern community crematoria Vehicle (minor) repair and parking; cafeteria, shops, restrooms, children’s park etc for motorists Rock, mineral and soil learning sites for school-age youth

Specifics of Recommendations: Quarry Wall/Rim and Shoulder
ii. Quarry wall Rim and shoulder Build artificial gutters with rock bolt and concrete/ rigid plastic slabs on quarry wall for planting vetiver. Stabilize rim/shoulder by hydro-seeding, geo-textile carpeting followed by planting tree species

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

I.2.2-A:

RECOMMENDED REUSE OPTIONS: LATERITE BRICK AND RED EARTH PITS
Shelf (L-shaped) and Pit (Box-shaped) (no minimum area stipulation as per Minor Mineral rules.) a. Protective green fencing, and warning signs and crash barriers (if wall abuts on edge of right of way

1.

Type of Quarry

Pre-Treatment: 2. and shoulder

rim

of road) b. Re-vegetation with Lemon grass, Vetiver along the rim and shoulder of the pit c. A Green belt of Casurina/Bamboo d. Vetiver hedge row to protect rim and wall of quarry a. Garden land (Cashew, tuber crops, yams etc.)

3.

Reuse measures: floor Water storage &

b. Real estate c. Amphitheaters and open-air theaters

4.

conservation structure

Recharge pit with recharge bores.

I.2.2-B:

RECOMMENDED REUSE OPTIONS: TILE AND BRICK CLAY PITS

Currently, in an ela, brick and tile clay permits are held by several lessees and as a consequence, the pits are non-contiguous, separated by “virgin” paddy patches of ela. There is a bank guarantee (currently @ ` 275/- per m3 of extract) to ensure the refilling of pit in the post-extraction/exhaustion state by the lessee, finally placing back the saved and stored top soil evenly. Since 2009, the extraction permits are granted only on the basis of a No-Objection Certificate issued by the District Collector concerned. The geologist concerned, if satisfied on inspection of the restored site, recommends release of bank guarantee.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

If an ela is dotted with numerous abandoned pits following are recommended:
1. Type of Quarry Box shaped, water logged pits (in units of < 0.25 ha) Topsoil of undisturbed patches in the ela gathered and stored. 2. Pre-Treatment Uneven ela-scape remade as levelled and terraced cultivable land. Finally spread the stored topsoil evenly at the top. 3. Reuse pre-condition Cultivate such areas on a co-operative basis.

Abandoned
1. 2. Type of Quarry Pre-Treatment Box shaped, water logged pits (in units of < 0.25 ha) a. If water-logged, fencing and water-hazard warnings along with display of depth charts a. Pisciculture of edible and ornamental fish b. Farming sites of aquatic plants (e.g., lotus, water 3. Reuse measures lily) c. Source of irrigation water and domestic use after treatment.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

I.2.3: RECOMMENDED REUSE OPTIONS: CHINA CLAY MINE
Large mine pits (currently 1.0 ha or more in area); water logged Protective fencing, and warning signs Depth charting Re-vegetation of rim and edge (e.g., vetiver, lemon 2. Pre-Treatment grass) Masonry, or earthen gutters to divert surface run off away from the mine pit to protect erosion of the walls and water quality A Green belt of Casurina/Bamboo in the buffer zone  Pisciculture: Edible and ornamental fish  Cultivation of aquatic flowering plants like lotus, water lily 3. Reuse measures  Source of water for lift irrigation, industrial and domestic use after treatment.  Develop children’s park, picnic ground, play ground, open air theatre etc. after landscaping the land around the shore line as in Sargalaya, Kozhikode district

1. Type of Quarry

All quarries treated for reuse based on one or more methods in the foregoing need periodic after care (i.e., periodic monitoring and maintenance) The key to success of any of the restoration programmes is the identification of suitable indicators (of quality of biodiversity, soil, water and air) to monitor the quality of the restoration programmes. However, each reuse option proposed in the foregoing needs careful validation by a group of specialists in the Quarry Reuse Advisory Cell, Office of DMG, Thiruvananthapuram.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

1.3.

Recommended measures for ensuring the safety and security of the general public and also animals; if the abandoned pits cannot be used for any particular purpose. 1. Erect a metallic barricade to serve as a barrier for both humans and animals (similar to metal barricades erected by the sides of dangerous curves in modern Highways). 2. Proper warning signs shall be erected at specific points in all the foot paths and roads heading to the quarry or passing alongside the quarry. If the quarry is seasonally or permanently flooded, warning signs announcing the maximum depth of ponded water shall be displayed. 3. The Grama Panchayat (GP) concerned shall be in charge of securing and servicing this fence. The GP will arrange mock drills with the school/s in the neighbourhood (i.e., within a radius of 1.0 Km from the quarry) twice every academic session (viz., before the onset of SW and NE monsoons) on the risks and hazards in trespassing the perimeters (i.e., barricaded area) of the quarry. 4. The fenced abandoned quarry needs periodic maintenance, like de-weeding of the right of way of the protective fence. The MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program) funds could be used for the maintenance of the restored quarries.

1.4.

Identify the agency which can restore the abandoned quarries.

The abandoned quarry restoration is a new ballgame in the state. As such, there is no designated government agency or readily available expert group in the government sector to assist the GPs in identification, design and preparation of
vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011 11

Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

DPR and in the supervision and implementation of restorative treatments of quarries. Therefore, the committee recommends creation of: 1. Quarry Reuse Advisory Cell (QRAC) in the Department of Mining and Geology, Govt. of Kerala, shall be the apex scientific and technical group in the state to offer scientific/technical framework to assist the LSG in reuse related activities. 2. The QRAC shall have a panel of experts (consisting of geologists, eco-restoration experts, hydrogelogists, forestry/farm scientists and civil engineers) to identify and design the tasks of the framework and advise the Cell in implementing the tasks to complete the reuse treatments. QRAC also shall design a monitoring and maintenance scheme to accompany the restoration related DPR. 3. The District/Block/Grama Panchayat concerned shall approach QRAC for designing a restoration plan (like identification, design and estimate, implementation of restoration plan and future upkeep of the restored quarry) and a DPR. 4. For identification of restoration measures, the LSG shall seek initial advice from one or more of their technical committees. This committee/s shall advise the LSG regarding the possible reuse options and the LSG will forward the same to the QRAC for further scientific and feasibility analysis through outsourcing or in-house preparation of the DPR. The DPR will be examined and approved by QRAC in the DMG prior to implementation. 5. The LSG/Government can be in the lookout for industry/ institution/ organization directly involved in the quarrying or
vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011 12

Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

indirectly involved in quarrying as an end user or societal-wellwisher, for adopting the quarry identified for implementing restorative measures based on a DPR for restoration and post restoration maintenance and monitoring for periods of 5 to 10 yr. 1.5. Legal/legislative measures, if any required 1. In the ‘Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules 1967’, there does not exist any clause for the prevention of abandoning of quarry pits. However, the lessee is obligated to give a 3 months’ notice to the government expressing his intention to stop the operation. 2. The GOI has published draft rules “Minor Mineral Regulation And Development Act, 2011” in which majority of the existing rules governing the administration of major minerals have been extended for minor minerals also. In this, provision is made for a Quarry Closure Plan. The SC understands that GOK will frame rules under this act in due course. 3. The quarries found abandoned for more than 5 years have to be taken over by the LSG for adopting rehabilitation or to take up reuse projects according to the merit. Government may make suitable legislation for this purpose. 1.6. Financial implication required for reclamation/reuse 1. The Bank guarantee currently exists only for mining of major minerals. The current legal regime does not impose any bank guarantee in respect of quarrying of minor minerals, except in the case of brick and tile clay and sand (karamanal). Unlike in the case of major minerals, there are no laws governing the quarry closure or their reuse, at present.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

2.

The SC, therefore, recommends a total overhaul of fund inflow to GOK from quarrying operations. Obviously, this warrants newer measures of raising the money through cess/tax on account of trade of quarry extracts, viz., runoff quarry rock or rubble, value added coarse and fine aggregates as well as rail road ballast, road metal etc.

3.

The current option of compounding of royalty levied from the quarry operators is anachronistic, illogical, and unscientific and consequently is a great drain on the exchequer. Instead of optional compounding, a tax on royalty based on ad valorem be introduced. The Government may reserve 20% of such proceeds for quarry reuse works. Introducing a modified tax regime similar to VAT in which the ‘end-user-pay-the-royalty’ (as currently practiced in the State of Gujarat) can be thought of after due consideration of its feasibility.

4.

A financial instrument like quarry reuse bond be issued by government to the lessee to ensure the fund flow at the time of implementation of reuse related programmes in abandoned quarry/ies. The size of quantum of bond money shall be proportional to the quarry extract output as per the mining plan (see Appendix III).

5.

All quarrying operations are a direct assault on the environment and hence the state government has to come forward to create a Quarry Restoration Super Fund for implementing quarry reuse programmes. This issue can be taken up with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOI, for financial support considering the special status of Kerala due to high population density.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

1.7.

Restoration of quarry pits in a phased manner giving priority to category of quarry, area and danger to the public.

Certainly all the abandoned quarries do not call for immediate restoration or reuse. The quarries range widely in their areal extent, depth, land title, proximity to population centers, state and national highways and protected areas (like, sanctuaries, national parks, ESAs, EFAs). related programmes on the bases of the criteria in Box 1.1. Hence, the SC recommends prioritization of abandoned quarries for implementation of reuse

BOX 1.1: Criteria set for selection of quarries for reuse options 1. All quarries larger than 10.0 ar in area 2. All quarries located in poramboke land 3. All quarries posing hazards and located within 500 m of population centers and tribal colonies 4. All quarries regardless of their hydrologic status 5. Quarries, with good access, abutting on the right of way of state roads, national highways and rail roads 6. Quarries abutting on the floodplains of rivers 7. Any other

The second priority shall go to quarries in patta land fulfilling criteria in the Box 1.1. Any quarries in patta land, remaining abandoned for a period of 5 years or more be taken up for reuse. Logically, the issue of implementing any measure in patta lands needs the consent of the land owner. Another item needing careful consideration is the investment of public funds in a privately owned structure like quarries. The latter calls for suitable modification of rules governing investment or the government (through the LSG) acquiring the land and quarry, enabling the investment. The feasibility of a framework like ‘BOT’ in the reuse programmes can be examined.

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

Small abandoned quarries (area ≤ 10.0 ar) need to be taken up in a different perspective. The respective LSG can initiate discussions with the quarry-landowner, based on scientific facts regarding profitability of implementing measures for reuse. In this context, SC recommends water based reuse programmes. The quarries of Kerala are located in one or the other physiographic division’s viz., midland, low highland or portions of the high coastal land. The SC recommends the creation of Quarry Data Base as the first step in prioritizing and phasing of the restoration of abandoned quarries and pits. The request for reuse measures shall originate from the respective LSGs. The expert team then shall make a site-inspection of the particular abandoned quarry to judge the level of priority warranted by the site. This will pave the way for taking up the quarry reuse program development/implementation. As a continuing process QDB shall also be the basis for research leading to prioritization of quarries for reuse related programs. 1.8. Success stories of restoration 1. In Trivandrum district, a large parcel of land reclaimed from an equally large, exhausted clay mine in Thonnakkal has been sold to build a venue by TCS, India. 2. An abandoned quarry (Iringal quarry) on the left bank of Kuttiyadi river in Kozhikode district has been transformed into an arts and crafts village-Sargalaya, a tourism destination, an initiative of the Department of Tourism, GOK. This is a classical example of reuse of an abandoned perennially water-logged rock quarry spread over 2.0-3.0 ha.

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1.9.

Success stories of innovative uses 1. Currently, water accumulated and stored in a cluster of large abandoned quarries adjacent to Kochi Refineries Limited campus is used by the refinery to partially meet their needs. 2. During water scarcity, the Pariyaram Medical College, Kannur meets part of its water requirement by ferrying tanker loads of water from a quarry to the East of the Medical College Campus. 3. Some innovative brains in Kerala are raising ornamental/edible fish on a commercial scale in Palaghat district. 4. Utilization of ponded water in the abandoned quarries for irrigating farmlands is successfully practiced in Palakkad and Wayanad districts. 5. In Thonnakkal, Thiruvananthapuram district, a company

operating a modern clay mine and a clay processing industry has been using one of their large mine pits to collect water, which is used repeatedly in their processing plants by recycling. 6. Accumulated water in a large, exhausted china clay mine pit, in Mangalapuram, Thiruvananthapuram district, after treatment is supplied to a community of about 200 families. 7. A perennially flooded, large abandoned (approx. 3.0 ha) quarry exists on the western side of NH-47 at Kalluvathukkal, Kollam district. It was considered earlier by the LSG concerned for conversion into a children’s water park with GOI’s funding. However, the project did not take off. 8. The right of way of NH-49 at Mamala, sits perched on a “thin” rock wall (like on a natural rocky embankment) separating two
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deep-abandoned-flooded-quarries (cluster of flooded quarries on the north and a single one on the southern side). An enterprising mind has chosen to run a mobile ice cream Kiosk at the road-side entrance to the fenced quarry making the first step to develop the spot into a picnic centre/road side rest area. 1.10. Additional recommendations 1. Public awareness of state of abandoned/working quarries is practically nil. The SC therefore recommends conduct of an awareness programme for elected members of LSGs, representatives of school-age youths, social activists, and nominees of NGOs (for course content and related details in Appendix-I). 2. As part of educational tour of school-age youth, the SC desires inclusion of a quarry study with the help of the geologist of the revenue district concerned (details in Appendix-II). 3. The SC recommends proceeds from the conduct of a Bumper Lottery to start a corpus (fund) for eco-restoration of quarried land. Given wide publicity and media coverage this lottery shall fetch a large profit of at least ` 20.0-30.0 crores. This fund may enable initiation of restoration works during this financial year (see Appendix-III). 4. A WB/ADB loan for environmental rehabilitation of the quarried lands may be thought of (see Appendix-III). 5. Introduce a new cess of 10% of royalty in force for quarry extracts (i.e., quarry products) to supplement the corpus of funds for restoration (see Appendix-III).

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6.

A quarry advisory cell (Q-RAC), working from the office of the Director, Mining and Geology, is a team of experts to advise on matters relating to formulation of measures for quarry reuse shall be constituted. (see Appendix-IV)

7.

The quarry database available in the DMG is a good step towards e-governance policy. The SC opines that the data elements in the database have not addressed the theme in the angle of selecting or choosing the abandoned quarry sites for restorative work. Therefore, the SC recommends a revision of the data elements in the system in the line proposed in the data collection format designed by the SC. The details regarding staff requirements, financial outlay and other infrastructure like equipments and vehicles etc are given in Appendix-V.

8.

The SC underscores the need to launch a three year (three field season) programme to map the potential tracts in the land area of Kerala to demarcate the quarriable tracts, affording due consideration to environmental and social impacts to meet the future requirements of the infrastructure development in Kerala (see Appendix-VI).

9.

The SC is of the opinion that the website of DMG, as it stands today needs an overhaul especially in the context of knowledge society and e-governance (see Appendix-VII).

10.

Unlike many other arms of the GOK, the DMG is a scientific organization, in that the technical staff are scientists in the pursuit of scientific utilization and management of natural resources. The SC is of the unanimous view that a statutory scientific advisory board be created to advise the DMG to administer the non-renewable resources without impairing natural environmental fabric (see Appendix-VIII).
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11.

A pilot project of reuse implemented in an abandoned quarry in poramboke land will showcase the abandoned quarry as an asset and not an eyesore. Such a project helps in motivating the society to switch over to alternative uses of these abandoned sites.

12.

One quarry in every district after restoration be designated as a student-field-lab for the sake of school going youth to study rock, minerals and other resources in the natural setting. ***************

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CHAPTER - II A PROFILE OF QUARRYING IN KERALA Introduction Accidents and loss of life to adults, children, domestic and stray animals while negotiating the perimeters of abandoned quarries and mine pits that have proliferated across the state of Kerala have been of late, a source for sensational public and media attention, resulting in melancholic reactions among the society at large. This situation has prompted the GOK to appoint a subcommittee to look into the matter comprehensively, collecting the ground truth and collating the inputs into a meaningful document containing recommendations for their re-use. The need for quarried materials (Like rock rubbles, road metal and aggregates) is immeasurable and keeps growing. Building stones and aggregates are the principal bulk besides steel in the construction and maintenance of all structures including railroads, highways, airports, harbors and so on. Consequently, quarrying has become an industry based on ever-rising demands and the spurt in the number of new quarries as well as the abandoned quarries is a direct fall- out of its adverse impacts which have to be addressed scientifically. In Kerala, there are reportedly 8000 to 10, 000 operating quarries for granite and Laterite (both legal and illegal) which cater to the domestic demands for building stones, road metal and aggregates. Moreover, the new constructions and developmental work that is in an infant stage demand huge inputs (billions of tons) of stones and aggregate, enhancing bulk requirements of the material manifold. Another set of pits needing a rehabilitation policy is the hundreds of abandoned brick/ tile clay pits in the paddy fields of the coastal stretch and flood plains of several rivers.

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There is a secondary consequence(s) of the abandoned quarries/pits such as partial or complete (either seasonal or perennial) flooding of the ex-quarries. An abandoned quarry and environs full of waste piles of unsold rubbles and rip-rap-a residual feature due to the absence of clear-cut exit formalities for quarrying operations of minor minerals is often a great eyesore. A tertiary consequence is the often reported drowning deaths of children, adults and animals in the stagnant pools of water in the pits. Thus, pools of rain water or ground water accumulating seasonally and in variable depths into the AQ & MP have more notorious (sic) attributes as ignoble sites of accidental drowning and deaths than positive benefits useable by the neighboring community. Hence, restoration of these degraded landscapes is absolutely essential. That no doubt, would create a better and healthier environment conserving biodiversity and would free the community from untoward incidents and hazards related to the AQ/MP. The Government of Kerala issued an order read as GO (Ms) No.57/2011/ID dated 25.2.2011 of the Industries (A) Department constituting a SubCommittee to undertake the study on re-use of abandoned pits/quarries. (Annexure-A). The terms of reference of the Committee were as follows: 1. How to restore the abandoned quarries/mines within the State. 2. To furnish suggestions regarding alternative uses of the abandoned quarries. 3. Recommendations/measures to be taken for ensuring the safety and security of the general public as also animals, if the abandoned pits cannot be used for any particular purpose. 4. To identify the Agency which can restore the abandoned pits. 5. Legal/legislative measures if any required. 6. Financial implications/ support needed for reclamation/re use.

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7. Restoration of quarrying pits has to be done in a phased manner giving priority to category of mines, are and danger to public. The Sub-Committee constituted by the GOK swung into deliberations immediately after receipt of this order and examined every aspect of possible restoration of the pits and quarries from within the ambit of the specified terms of reference. The Sub-Committee (the SC), made a general questionnaire to elicit information through the District officials of the Department of Mining and Geology, with the idea of short listing and prioritizing the abandoned pits and quarries which require restoration measures. The SC met officials of departments and organizations who deal with earth resource and eco systems management, such as the DMG, CGWB, GSI, the state GWD, the Kerala Land use Board, The Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Biology, University of Kerala, and a few veteran professionals who had singular scientific experience in such fields. The SC formulated detailed questionnaires in English and Malayalam (Annexure-B&C) to reach out and to get suitable feedbacks from LSGs, NGOs and well informed civil society members. In addition, a press release was also issued (Annexure-D) to elicit views and suggestions from the public at large. With pleasure, the SC has synthesized all view points and suggestions and has arrived at solutions which are placed in this report as a cloister of futuristic ideas. Current Status The need for quarried construction materials (like rock and aggregates) is immeasurable and keeps growing. Besides steel, quarried rock and aggregates are the principal bulk in all modern constructions (as well as maintenance) like airports and harbours, rail roads and highways, industrial, commercial and residential blocks, power projects and drinking water supply schemes and so on. Consequently, quarrying is now an industry and the rising demand would add an extra spurt in the number of new quarries as well as abandoned quarries.
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Hence, the restoration of these degraded landscapes is intended to create a better and healthier environment, conserve biodiversity and prevent hazards affecting the community. State of the art of Quarrying The Kerala state is ecologically fragile with 16.4% of the total geographical area being coastal land, 28% of the geographical area being forest land, with 41 west flowing and 3 east flowing rivers, 27 estuaries, 7 lagoons, 580 Km of coastal belt, 4 to 6 months of monsoon rainfall, extensive ‘kole’ and wet land areas, and high density of population almost equally distributed all over the state. Quarrying and mining being a onetime concentrated activity may basically appear destructive with irreversible ecological fall outs and scars on the geoenvironment, but are unavoidable evils focused for the constructive upheaval of the population at large. The human civilization prospers on earth resources and their value-added products and the mining and quarrying activities if carried out sustainably, can be a boon for societal development convergence. Kerala is endowed with limited mineral resources and the major minerals mined are mainly china clay, mineral sand, bauxite/aluminous Laterite, limestone, lime shell and quartz/silica sand. These minerals are won by open cast mining to an average depth of 50m. Silica sand/Quartz and mineral sand are usually extracted by scooping and making small pits/trenches. Granite building stones and Laterite constitute the majority of minor minerals quarries of the State. Brick and tile clay pits which are mainly in the wet land are the other mining features. Quarrying activities for the above minerals have been rampant in the State from time immemorial. The increasing demands for construction of roads, railways, bridges, sea ports and air ports, sea walls, public and private buildings etc have progressively made the mining and quarrying industry flourish over
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decades and proved its unavoidability and significant relevance in the transactions of the present day society. In today’s economic scenario, building materials, minerals and metals play a vital role. All these final products are derived basically from the mother earth, by quarrying from naturally occurring different rock formations. The need of the day is to mine these earth resources in an environment-friendly and sustained manner. Considering the environmental impacts, each step of the process will have to be examined in detail, as a preamble to any large scale projects. Equally important is to examine the reasons for cessation of the quarrying/ mining activity without addressing the adverse environmental impacts it has already created along with irreversible blot on the landscape. To highlight the state of the art in Kerala, it would be worthwhile to go through some paragraphs of the Report of the Technical Committee under the Chairmanship of the Principal Secretary to Government, Industries Department (September 2009) on Mining/ Quarrying Operations in Kerala with Special Focus on safety and Environmental Issues---etc. The points given in them are selfexplanatory, and the paragraphs are reproduced below: “Safety aspects of quarrying / mining operation in the State (p-6 of the Report) Kerala is endowed with limited mineral resources and hence the number of mines (major minerals) is limited and they are mainly china clay, mineral sand, bauxite/ aluminous Laterite, limestone, limeshell and quartz/ silica sand etc. These minerals are won by open cast mining to an average depth level of up to 50 m, especially in china clay and limestone mines. Silica sand/ Quartz, mineral sand are usually extracted by scooping and making small pits/ trenches and the mining doesn’t involve any threat to life and environment. No major accidents have been reported from these mining operations in the State.

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

Among the minor mineral quarries, granite building stones and the laterites are the most abundant in the state and quarrying activities are mostly carried out in the mid land area of the state. The quarrying activities for the above minerals are being carried out far before the formation of the State of Kerala for construction of railways, bridges, roads, sea wall and other public and private buildings and even from Palaeolithic age. The increase in population and due to the big boom in construction industry in recent years, there is a high demand of minerals especially for granite/ Laterite building stone, construction grade sand and brick/ tile clay. But the spatial extension of mineral deposit is being reduced day by day due to fast urbanization and formation of new roads. Accidents in Quarries In Kerala accidents in mining sector is very less when compared to the other parts of the country. Two or three cases are being reported annually. The intensity of quarry/ mining accidents when compared with road accidents, natural calamities, epidemics and death associated with riots and violence are negligible but still safety of mine/ quarry needs to be given prime importance. Nature of quarry accidents Quarry accidents can be grouped into two main categories: 1. 2. Accidents to the workers involved in quarrying operations. Accidents to the public, animals etc., due to falling into the active or abandoned mine/quarry pits.” The Physical System Out of a total area of 38864 sq.km of the State, 35955 sq. km is covered by hard rock which comes under the industrial classification of ‘Granite’. All the physiographic regions of the State are also dominated by these rocks. The state is situated in the southwestern fringe of the south Indian Peninsular Shield
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between latitudes 080 15’ and 120 45’ N and longitudes 740 50’ and 770 20’ E. The State can broadly be divided into three physiographic units from the coastline on the west to the Ghats in the east-the coastal plains with an average elevation of 10 m above m.s.l, the midlands which are the pediments of the mountains with an average elevation of 300 m and the high lands of the western Ghats with hill ranges and plateaus rising to heights of 600 to 2500m above m.s.l, in the eastern parts (Plate-1). The Wayanad plateau and Munnar upland fall in the high lands. The midlands are mostly covered by Laterite cappings and thick and weathered pedogenic profiles. ‘Granites’ (in Geological parlance Khondalites (including leptynites), charnockites, charnockite gneiss, migmatites, granites and granite gneiss) outcrop on the hill ranges, peaks in the pediments and the coastal uplands. Apart from these, there are coastal sedimentary formations comprising clastic rocks like clays and sandstones and marine carbonates (at some places with thin seams of lignite) and impure clastics. The youngest of the sedimentary formations is composed of sands, clays, molluscan shell beds, riverine and beach alluvium. (Plate-2). Climate Kerala has a typical hot, humid tropical climate with clear spells of excessively wet monsoon seasons. (SW and NE Monsoons) .The SW monsoons are stronger in the central and northern parts of the State and the NE monsoons or the retreating monsoons are relatively stronger in the southern parts of the State. The rainy seasons are active during June to September and November to February. The average annual rainfall in the State is 3000 mm with about 115 wet days on an average. The mean daily temperature is 32˚ C. Structure and Seismicity Kerala falls under seismic zone III, where seismic activity could be moderate to the tune of 5 to 6 magnitude in Richter scale and 6.5 in exceptional cases along neotectonically active deep faults. According to lineament maps of Kerala, the ENE-WSW trending lineament zones are chronologically the youngest and are
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vulnerable for seismicity. Lineaments along with joints, fractures and foliation have exercised considerable control over the weathering profile, course of river channels and the size and extent of aquifer qualities of this terrain. Groundwater Occurrence In the geological formations of Kerala, groundwater occurs under water table (unconfined), semi confined and confined conditions. The weathered hard rock’s (thickness= ~10.0 m), laterites (of variable thickness), valley fills (thickness=~3.0- 7.0 m) and alluvial formations form the major unconfined aquifers and fracture zones in the hard rocks and granular zones in the sedimentary formations form the semi confined to confined aquifers. Depth to water level varies from 2.0 to 9.0 m below ground level in weathered hard rock, 2.0 to 20.0 m below ground level in laterite and <1.0 to 6.0 m below ground level in valley fill and coastal alluvium. In spite of the reputation as a water surplus state, the state experiences drinking water scarcity at many places due to a variety of reasons. The highly dissected and undulating topography, high subsurface runoff, massiveness of geological formations and the resultant unfavourable sub-surface storage conditions, are the factors responsible for shortage of water in summer season. Quality problems due to saline water incursions along rivers and backwaters, toxic and biogenic contaminations from anthropogenic wastes and putrescible matter in coastal and inland backwater aquifers etc further leads to the scarcity of drinking water. Need for Quarrying & Mining Quarrying is as old as civilizations are. In today’s world, there is absolute need for building materials, metals and minerals. All those final products are derived basically from minerals, which are extracted from quarries or mined from subsurface and surface mines from different rock formations found in nature. Therefore, the need is to mine these minerals in the most optimum way.
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Considering the environmental impacts, the process has to be examined in detail before any large scale mining projects have to be considered. Reasons for abandoning/ orphaning of quarries The following are the reasons for abandoning of quarrying activities in a particular area: 1. The expiry of the lease period and the lessee not opting renewal due to (a) the exhaustion of the deposits, (b) reaching the stage where quarrying is uneconomical due to rise in wages and other inputs, fall in market demand of the extracts 2. Unscientific working methods exposing the quarry workers to accidents and injuries 3. Court directives banning the quarrying operations on public safety or environmental concerns and 4. Personal reasons of the lessee to stop the operations. Development Initiatives The construction materials used in Kerala state are principally granite rock (stone and coarse and fine aggregates) and laterite (bricks and road metal). So many development projects are in the offing in Kerala like multi-lane-highways, bridges, state highways ports (e.g., Vizhinjam), Metro-rail systems (e.g., Kochi), air port (e.g., Kannur) and so on. While all these concrete based constructions consume huge volumes of coarse and fine aggregates, the larger sized granite stones go to making of breakwaters in ports and harbours and seawalls along stretches facing coastal erosion. The housing sector growing at 10-15% is another principal consumer of coarse and fine aggregates. All such stone construction materials are sourced from quarries that are spread all over the state, especially in the midland and lower highland.

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Governance of Quarrying in Kerala In Kerala, quarrying and mining of minerals are regulated by the powers vested under the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957, Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, the Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1967 and the Granite in the State. However, certain Officers/authorities in other departments/local bodies such as Revenue, Panchayat, Forest and Municipal Administration have also been declared as Competent Authorities by the Government to administer the rules specifying the area of jurisdiction, extent of powers to be exercised and the duties to be performed by them in each case. Due to the lack of co-ordination among the competent authorities the Department of Mining and Geology may not be able to administer the said rules effectively which may lead to loss of revenue for the State and orphaning of quarries and mines. Currently, the Mineral Exploration Division and the Mineral Development and Mining Lease Division of the DMG administer the mineral development in Kerala. conservation and development Rules, 1999. The Department of Mining and Geology is empowered to administer the said rules

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Classification of Quarries Classification of quarries based on the products, as well as by their overall shape
No 1. 2. 3. 4. Type L-shaped U-shaped Composite Box shaped Field geometry L-shaped U-shaped; a deeper pit U-in-L Walled shallow Box ; walls of variable height; flat or stepped floor; 5. China clay pits/mines Large geometric pits or L-shaped cuttings with benches/steps stepped Type of Extract Rock /rubble Rock /rubble Rock /rubble Laterite brick/red earth; brick and tile clays China clay (under MMRD Act, 1967)

Environmental Impacts of Quarrying Quarrying is one of the most primitive but important activities that continues to support human civilization. Construction of buildings, infrastructure development, and a host of other activities affecting our day-to-day life are largely dependent on the products from the stone quarries and mine pits. Kerala with its undulating topography has an abundance of quarries in the midland, lower highland and mid-highland regions. ‘Sheet rock’ morphology and isolated domes in the midland / lower highland pediment and ridge and valley structure alternating in the mid-highland regions support a large number of quarries all through the length of the state. Quarrying activity and the presence of abandoned quarries have created numerous complex problems directly and indirectly affecting the psyche of the civil society The adverse impacts at times reach catastrophic proportions resulting in landslides, land slumps, tip-slides, debris slides and rock topples in the quarry/ pit vicinities, leading to casualty and fatality. Adults, youngsters, children, cattle are all affected.

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The dominant environmental problems associated with quarrying are: Land degradation Deforestation and loss of vegetation Water pollution Air pollution Noise pollution Depletion or loss of groundwater Socio-economic problems caused by any one or all of the above. On environmental issues, the TCCPSG (2009) commented as follows: “4. Environmental issues – (P-9) The mining activity without the destruction of environment and ecological imbalance are not practicable. To sustain economy of the country extraction of natural wealth and technology to exploit the mineral resources with modern tools are inevitable and there is legislation to control the degradation of environment. The opening of mining industry provides job opportunity for many people including the local tribes which in turn develop the area and the State economy also flourishes. Gain in economy and loss in ecological balance are to be weighed with positive attitude for betterment of the state.” The abandoned quarries and mine pits no doubt, are primarily indelible eyesores and scars on the otherwise pristine landscape and greenery of the state. During recent years, there has been a growing awareness on the part of the administration and civil society on the importance and need for protection and conservation of the environment. There is also a widening realization among all concerned that developmental activities though inevitable, have to be executed in a sustained way without adverse impacts on environment and eco system. Hence the urgent need to embark on a massive programme on a warfooting for the restoration of abandoned quarries and mine pits to minimize hazardous impacts directly and indirectly affecting the populace dwelling in

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their close proximity and to make these locations abodes of positive outputs beneficial to the society. Environmental problems of Quarrying Stone Quarries Quarries for building stones are the most widespread, and are generally located in the midland and mid high land regions of the state. The main impact of quarrying is on the landscape resulting in its gross unaesthetic disfiguration. The removal of some of the landscape components such as trees, other vegetation and slope could lead to a cascading effect on the surrounding landscape. Quarrying can lead to soil erosion, land slump, debris flow and slumping of talus, scree and quarry waste towards lower slopes. The main negative ecological and biological effect is the loss of habitat and species and dwindling of bio diversity that inhabited the area. In effect, a link in the ecosystem chain is chopped off and the entire bio diversity of the area is subjected to irreversible damage. When the operations go below the ground level, the result is impeded natural drainage. Blasting is another prime activity in quarries used to break and detach massive rock into smaller fragments. This involves the use of heavy machinery and explosives which affect the immediate environs in more than one way. The noise and vibrations of the blasts can be annoying and repulsive to those dwelling in the vicinity. Blasts also produce a lot of dust and fumes causing pollution. Irregular blasting may open up more rock fractures resulting in hanging of boulders and their precarious perching, haphazard landing of rubbles and scree on steep slopes, thereby leading to dangerous situations of rock topple and debris movement. Laterite Bricks and Red Earth Pits (Box- and L-shaped) Laterite quarries dominate the midland and mid-highland regions of the State. Quarrying is carried out below the ground surface and hence leaves shallow pits in the landscape. Loss of vegetation and fertile top soil are other effects.
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Land damage and disfiguration of the landscape are the major problems. The overburden soil causes erosion and deposition of material to lower landscape positions. During monsoon the pits are filled up with water and cause hazards of drowning to human and cattle. Brick and Tile Clay Pits (Box-shaped) These are often located in the lower landscape depressions especially the paddy fields. The main impact is the loss of fertile top soil and impeded drainage. The resulting deep pits get filled up with water as the water table in these areas is only a few meters below the surface. The overburden soil is unstable and act as source of pollution of air, water, loss of aesthetics. There can also be direct removal of habitat or habitats altered or destroyed by excess dust, water runoff and soil erosion. China Clay Mines Mine development for clays involve removal of top soil and results in the formation of depressions and craters. These are often very deep pits filled with water. Depletion of water table in wells of adjoining areas is widespread. The water-filled pits prove to be focal points of hazards to human beings and cattle. The overburdens in these areas are physically unstable and are prone to creep and slump. They also act as sources of pollution with washings seeping down slope to lover levels in the landscape. The major effects are the destruction of original habitat, pollution of air and water, siltation and loss of aesthetics. However, abandoned china clay mines in the state portray an altogether different picture, primarily because of the scale of operations and limited occurrence of the clay deposits. Being governed by the rules for mining of major minerals, the china clay mining has all along been a more organized and better governed process than quarrying of building stones or Laterite which are grouped under minor minerals. China clay mines operated in the northern and southern districts of the state are either Ls pits or Us pits and unlike stone
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quarries, a fair amount of post-mining reclamation measures are seen implemented by the respective operators. A good example is near Thonnakkal in Thiruvananthapuram District, a company operating a modern clay mine and a clay processing and upgradation industry has been progressively back-filling the mined pits and using some of the pits as rain water harvesting centers, and pits for recycling of used water for reuse. Another point that needs mention is that one of the refilled pits of about 10ha here, partly re-vegetated by the miner has been purchased by an Indian software company of repute, to develop their campus. Progressive back-filling of the mined pits are noticed in the china clay mine sites at Pazhayangadi in Kannur District also. In the Mangalapuram china clay mine belt in Thiruvananthapuram District, instances of leasing out reclaimed land to other industry operators and supplying of the rainwater accumulated in the mine pits after treatment to neighbouring settlements are also noticed. The Rules in administration of Quarrying The MM (D&R) Act 1957 and rules there under govern the administration of the major minerals in the country. As far as Kerala is concerned, chiefly china clay, bauxite, limestone, iron ore and silica sand come under the purview of the rule. Quarrying, on the other hand, is governed by The Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1967. However, unlike the case of major minerals, the lessee is not legally bound to restore the quarried land with the top soil in place. Yet, the rules governing extraction of brick and tile clays and sand (karamanal) warrant restoration of the landscape by the operator for which a bank guarantee of ` 275 per m3 is submitted. Mining of certain minerals (Scheduled Minerals) require the concurrence of the Govt. of India (Ministry of Mines, Dept. of Mines). Section 15(1) Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) act has empowered the State Government to frame rules in respect of minor minerals for regulating the grant of quarrying leases or other mineral concessions and Section 23 C has delegated the power to make rules for preventing illegal
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mining, transportation and storage of minerals. Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules 1967 has been framed by the State Government as per Section 15 (1) of Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 for regulation of minor minerals like granite building stone, laterite, Tile/ Brick clay and ordinary sand used for construction purposes etc. Whenever a mining lease is granted, the incumbent lessee has to execute a lease deed in which conditions for mining the mineral in a work-man like (Form K) manner are specified. However, there is no proper check to ensure that the lessee is carrying out mining in accordance with the provisions of the Mines Act, 1952 and Metalliferous Regulations (MMR) 1967. This is probably due to the fact that at present, there is shortage of staff in the department mandated to carry out periodic inspections to this effect. However, the Directorate of Mine safety under the Indian Bureau of Mines, Govt. of India carries out yearly site inspections and points out violations to these Acts (Mineral Conservation and Development Rules) directing the lessee to comply with the remedial measures. Even then there is no mechanism to ensure if these directives are being complied with, by the lessee. Paucity of a state unit of the Directorate is the main drawback in following-up the rules and regulations enacted by these Acts. ***************

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CHAPTER-III RESTORATION MEASURES FOR QUARRIES AND MINE PITS: AN OVERVIEW Introduction This chapter is an account of the SC’s learned opinion on the basis of literature study, field visits, discussion with a segment of the stake holders and experts on each of the clauses of the terms of reference listed in the GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011 of the GOK. 1. Restoration of Abandoned Quarries/Mine Pits The first step in respect of any design and implementation of measures for reuse of abandoned and mine pits/quarries is creation of an automated database of quarries. To enable this, the SC has designed a format for data collection (data sheet; see Appendix-IX). The SC is of the strong opinion that all the operating and abandoned quarries of the state shall be brought into this automated data base. The SC points out that the Mining and Geology Department has launched a similar data base project in its HQ. However, this data base so far has covered only eight districts of the state. A sample data sheet used in this project is given in Appendix-IX. The SC recommends that the Mining and Geology Department of the State be mandated to complete this data base using the data sheet proposed by the SC. Obviously the data base project will entail additional staff and fund under the DMG’s. However, without such basic essential information the effective implementation of re-use measure could be difficult. The Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1967 governing quarrying (i.e., issue permit/lease and operation), does not stipulate any clause/s for the quarry closure except in the case of tile and brick clay pits. A bank guarantee of
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` 275 per m3 intended for the implementation of restoration measures is charged in respect of brick and tile clay pits. However, GOI has published draft rules “Minor Mineral Regulation And Development Act, 2011” in which the majority of the existing rules governing the administration of major minerals have been extended to minor minerals also. 2. Furnish Suggestions regarding Alternative Uses of the Abandoned Quarries Abandoned Quarry Reuse 1. Leave-it-cordoned off 2. Water based reuse 3. Real estate based reuse 4. Treatment for Community service 5. Recreational reuse 6. Thematic reuse 7. Agricultural reuse 8. Reuse as Artificial Aquifers Stability of Quarry wall/Pit and Shoulder Before considering any tangible reuse option, the LSG shall satisfy itself regarding the stability of the walls or slopes as well as the shoulders of the abandoned quarry/pit. A Professional Geologist (from the Department of Mining and Geology of the state, GSI, CESS or a certified professional Geologist like RQP) is aptly suited to make this assessment on the stability or instability of the quarry wall slope. The stabilization measures recommended by the Professional Geologist shall be implemented by the LSG as the first step in the direction of reuse.

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Environmental Rehabilitation and Eco-restoration Quarrying activities no doubt cause environmental damage, ecological imbalances and hazards to human life. The spurts in population growth, developmental programmes, and urbanization have necessitated stepping up of quarrying to meet the increased demands of the community. It is pointed out that both quarrying and environmental conservation are important and a balance between the two has to be worked out. Environment management, restoration, reclamation or rehabilitation programmes are to be concurrently adopted to minimize adverse impacts on environment. Issues in Eco-restoration  The present state of the quarry, its characteristics and surroundings will decide on whether restoration, rehabilitation or reclamation is to be carried out.  The first step in any restoration programme is to adopt physical methods to reclaim the area like easing of slopes, terracing, leveling, construction of retaining walls etc to make it conducive to interventions for restoration.    Development of the peripheral drainage channels for safe disposal of collected water to prevent erosion and sedimentation. Identification of constraints in seed germination, species establishment. Screening of suitable legumes, forage trees for nitrogen enrichment, nutritional and microbial constraints of spoils/overburden in respect of establishment of species.    Conservation of biodiversity, eco restoration matching with surrounding landscape. Use of soil amendments/ameliorants, identification of suitable mulches and practices for in-situ moisture conservation practices. Reclamation of erosion prone and steep areas with geotextiles, hydro seeding and biological stabilization methods.

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Strategies for Eco-restoration The aim of restoration is to create a diverse mix of after-uses catering to community amenities, agriculture and nature conservation. The restoration programmes have to be initiated in phased manner. It is not possible to reverse the whole area in a short span of time. A pilot project has to be taken up and executed to demonstrate the possibility of making an area more productive and remunerative using resource conservation and careful utilization of land. This would help in motivating people to switch over to alternative uses of these abandoned lands. The interventions proposed are location specific and have to be systematically planned and measures appropriate to the site are proposed to be executed scientifically. Classes of Eco-restoration Measures Engineering measures Biological measures Engineering Measures/Physical Reclamation Prior to the introduction of biological methods, physical reclamation methods like easing of slopes, land leveling, terracing, development of drainage channels, filling up of craters and stabilization of overburden with geotextiles are to be carried out to make the area conducive to biological re-cultivation Biological Measures In a majority of cases the raw overburden material from the mining activities does not possess any soil character. It is totally devoid of organic matter and soil micro flora so essential for establishment and sustenance of plant growth. The alkaline/acidic nature of the heterogeneous spoil material delays the natural plant succession processes. Moisture availability also plays a vital role for initial plant establishment. For initial startup in such derelict sites organic
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amendments have a dominant role. The natural process of soil formation is accelerated only when revegetation starts and slowly the soil establishes equilibrium with the surroundings. Choice of Plant Species Choice of the plant species depends on the characteristics of the soil, climate, moisture availability and ultimate landuse. Selection Criteria for Plant Species  Species should be capable of colonizing in the degraded site. Grasses are more tolerant to adverse pH and moisture conditions than legumes.  Nitrogen fixing species are preferred as it enriches soil nitrogen.  Species capable of producing fuel, fodder for local community is preferred.  Pasture grasses and legumes can be used for stabilization of spoil dumps.  Afforestation using tree species increases the aesthetic value of the site.  Trees and shrubs can be used as wind breaks in areas where visual shield is required. Methods of Replanting The availability of water in the area especially during summer and the ability of spoil to retain moisture are vital for establishment of planted species. Raising of vegetation can be done by the following methods.    Sowing seeds in-situ. Planting nursery raised seedlings using microbial inoculums like VAM/bacteria for easy seedling establishment. Transplanting of individual species of natural vegetation from surrounding areas.
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Pocket planting of species recommended.

Modes of Green Cover Development Transporting good quality top soil from surrounding natural areas which contain seeds of grasses, rhizomes and tubers of herbs. Grass mulches and sowing seeds of grasses. Planting nursery raised seedlings. Innovative Approaches in Biological Restoration Hydroseeding Suited for difficult terrain. This is a single step process and involves spraying slurry of seed, fertilizer, fertile top soil, cow dung and water. A layer 0.5 to 2mm thick is sprayed. Very effective in stony and nutrient poor shallow voids filled with over burden waste materials. Hydro seeding can be practiced in pit method to enhance seed germination. Mulching Overburden spoils should be leveled and erosion preventing structures developed. The surface is then stabilized by application of organic mulches like straw, composted coir waste, saw mill dust and biodegradable town waste which will help in establishment. It improves water holding capacity, aeration, drainage, and development of good structure. This method can be adopted in pits used for raising seedlings. Carpeting with Geotextiles Spreading of geotextiles on surface on dumps helps improve infiltration, drainage, and prevent surface erosion. It ensures stability and reinforcement of slopes, amelioration of site condition and establishment of vegetation. Seeds or
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nursery raised seedlings can be used as planting material. Coir geotextiles from the Coir industry can be used for the purpose. Use of Organic Wastes and Compost for Remediation and Restoration In abandoned quarries where greening/agriculture is an option for restoration, composting of organic wastes is a pre requisite. Composted coir pith waste or biodegradable organic town waste can be utilized. Large scale composting yards with Windrows for composting the waste have to be planned. The compost mixed with the available material in the site such as sub soils, quarry fines and waste dump materials forms an excellent planting medium. It provides a balance of nutrients, organic matter, high water retention capacity, aeration, drainage, good structure development and an ideal condition for establishment of plant species. Seed Mixtures of Grass and Legume Grass and legume mixtures of native vegetation can be used. Grass should be a local perennial with fibrous roots preferably a forage. Legume is a good nitrogen fixer. Vetiver Eco-engineering Vetiver (Ramacham) grows well in landfills and quarries. It resists prolonged dry spells or waterlogged situations and is an ideal species for quarry restoration programmes. The vetiver eco-engineering, first developed by the Chinese is now successfully practiced in over hundred countries. This technique is mainly used for eco-restoration of vertical quarry walls which are an eyesore in the natural landscape. The technique consists of puncturing holes on the quarry face along the contour using pneumatic drills. The orientation of the holes is at an angle of 450. Hardened galvanized stakes protruding 60-80 cm on the quarry face are fixed.
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Toughened plastic/PVC planks are placed over the fixed stakes to form a triangular trough for filling soil/planting medium. Seedlings of vetiver or locally available hardy species with massive roots, and rapid growth are planted. The hedge rows of plants no longer need any maintenance except for some pruning and hence easily establish. The major benefit is that the ‘Earth Scar’ on the landscape is removed, the barren structure becomes an ‘Oasis’ and a self persistent ecosystem gradually develops. Vetiver Eco-restoration on Slopes In slopping lands as part of slope stabilization, sand bags are placed at 2 m contour intervals. Vetiver seedlings are planted above the sand bags in pits filled up with a mixture of compost and waste as planting medium. The restoration is quite successful as the survival rate of the planting seedlings is very high. The original scree pile becomes a “green hill” with luxuriant grass and other species that are planted. Water based quarry restoration Pisciculture Large voids and pits eventually become large water bodies. After suitable physical reclamation to ease slopes and depth they can be utilized for Pisciculture. The side-slopes of such pits must have gentle slopes, which can be aesthetically afforested with tree species. Technical knowhow of species to be raised and rearing techniques can be had from experts in the Fisheries Department. In Kerala, 879 rock quarry pools covering a cumulative area of 3.41 km2, has been identified by the Matsyafed, Government of Kerala, as potential sites for fish farming.

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Rainwater harvesting structures Abandoned quarry pits can be used for harvesting rainwater and also for recharging the groundwater reservoir in an area. The reuse options can be classified into four. 1) Use of water in abandoned quarry pits for irrigation

The water collected in the abandoned pits can be used for irrigating garden lands in adjacent areas. Both rainwater falling directly into the pit and seepage into the pit from surrounding areas can be collected and used. The SC came across instances of such use in Mullankolli panchayat of Wayanad district, which is an area with comparatively less rainfall. Water collecting in the pits are pumped out and used for irrigating crops like vegetables in summer. In some cases the water is siphoned out if the land to be irrigated is further down slope. A small pit with an area of 200 m2 and a depth of 5.0 m can store one million liters of water. In many areas there are large pits with storage capacities of 20 million liters or more. An agriculturist from Palakkad district (Sri. Ibrahim Haji, S/O Abu Rahiman Haji, Machingathodi house, Kudumunda PO, Pattambi) wrote to the SC stating that he is using the water collecting in the abandoned quarry on his land for irrigation. This water is used for irrigating coconut trees. Similarly a resort in Kappad beach, Kozhikode utilizes water collecting in an abandoned quarry pit for gardening. In addition, the Pariyaram Medical College in Kannur district augments their water supply by ferrying quarry water in tanker lorries. Other such examples are Kochi Refineries Ltd (KRL) etc. These are good examples of use of abandoned quarry pits. Storage of water in some pits can be increased by collecting surface runoff in addition to the rain falling in the pit. This should be done only if there is no possibility of destabilization of quarry walls by the seeping water. A fence should be constructed around all such pits to prevent accidents due to drowning.

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2)

Recharge of aquifers

Water collecting in quarry pits could be pumped or siphoned to large recharge pits located in nearby areas where there is a sufficient thickness to weathered zone. The bottom of the recharge pit should be at least 2 to 3 meters above the shallowest water table at that site. The recharge pit may be about 5 to 10 meters square and 2 meters deep, depending upon availability of land, quantity of water collecting in the quarry pit and local hydro geological conditions. This type of pit recharges the unconfined aquifer tapped by open wells. The pit can be further modified by drilling a recharge bore from its bottom for recharging the fracture aquifer tapped by bore wells in the area. The borehole should be drilled up to a fracture zone in the crystalline rock below the weathered zone. A suitable sand filter has to be provided in this case for filtering the water before it enters the bore hole. Recharge pits with recharge bores are also feasible in laterite quarry pits. Study of wells around a laterite pit at Padiyathadka in Kasaragod district revealed that water percolating into the pit is rapidly lost as subsurface runoff in the post monsoon season and hence does not improve the availability of water in the open wells in the area in summer. Provision of recharge bores as mentioned above will divert at least part of this subsurface runoff into water-yielding fracture zones in the hard rock. Construction and monitoring of these structures should be done under the guidance of hydro geologists of the Ground water department. The exact specifications depend on hydrogeological conditions at a particular site. Where a quarry pit is suitably located on a hill slope, water collecting in the pit can be siphoned off to ponds in nearby valleys without using electrical energy. HDPE pipes of suitable diameter may suffice. Additional storage in the ponds helps to recharge wells in the area. Consequently, drowning accidents can be avoided. Siphoning of water from springs emerging on hill slopes is widely practiced in Kasargod district. The pipes cover distances of 100 to more than 300 meters across rough terrain.

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3)

Drinking water supply

Where conditions permit, water accumulating in quarry pits, after pretreatment can be used for drinking water supply to small communities. In places with minimum chances of pollution, collection of surface runoff in the pit can also be considered for this purpose if facility for proper treatment of the water is provided. 4) Quarry Pits into Man-made Aquifers

Small abandoned quarries with impermeable walls and floor can be rebuilt as man-made aquifers by partially filling with suitable granular materials like coarse aggregates and sand, especially in communities facing acute drinking water scarcity and to the avoidance of tanker lorry water supplies. The pit may initially be filled with coarse aggregate and the top one meter filled with sand to act as a filtering medium. Interception of rainwater by the pit will saturate this artificial aquifer and water can be drawn using hand pumps. The potential of such aquifers can be improved by directing surface runoff into the quarries. This requires a thicker filling of aggregates in the pit for storing the additional recharge and also construction of settling ponds for removing suspended matter in the runoff before it enters the aquifer. The top few centimeters of sand acting as filter in the pit will have to be washed seasonally to remove the fine material clogging the pores. This type of reuse may be viable only in cases of extreme drinking water shortage. Aquaculture of flowering water plants Cultivation of aquatic flowering plants like Lotus, Water Lilies etc in small and/or large quarry pits is a remunerative alternative. Scientists, Malabar Botanical Gardens, Kozhikode and the University of Calicut are the apt resource persons for rendering appropriate Scientific/Technical support.

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Hydro reclamation An interesting area of restoration of water bodies is for water sports and other recreation. Parameters like side slope, depth, quality of water are to be looked into. This is especially suited for areas without water bodies and would be a profitable venture. Development of Community facilities Based on the site characteristics of the quarry in terms of area, distance from township, accessibility etc. they can be utilized for development of community facilities like recreation places, sports, parking lots for trucks and large vehicles, compost yards, cemeteries etc. Exotic plantations Current reclamation and rehabilitation efforts often use fast growing exotic species. The raising of such exotic species is justifiable only in degraded areas. In biologically fragile ecosystems they have to be used with caution. Development of Composite nurseries Subject to availability of water and site attributes, abandoned L-shaped quarries and laterite pits are potential sites for starting composite nurseries (of grasses, shrubs, multipurpose trees for fuel, fodder, timber, fruit crops, and medicinal plants). This facility shall supply planting material for development of eco-friendly production systems. Scope of participation of landless labour, NGOs, self help groups, farm women and other agencies can be thought of. Biomass and bio-energy development Since most of the abandoned quarries are located in non arable land with hostile environment, ways and means of organizing peoples voluntary
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participation in developing common property resource pools for fuel, multipurpose trees, community grazing lands, fish ponds, composting yards, biogas plants, low cost solar devices for sharing of resources by the local community. The people have to manage the installations as common property (but also have common responsibility to derive common benefits). NGO’s are apt motivators of people in this activity. Farming systems approach Farming systems approach, highly suited to laterite pits falling in less hostile environment, where overburden soil responsive to management. A judicious blending of farming systems with components of agro forestry, horticulture, livestock, Pisciculture, pasture and fodder would be a viable proposition. The components of the system, crops to be raised are based on site conditions and local needs. Failure of any component can be offset by the other components of the system. Monitoring and Maintenance The success of any quarry restoration programme should be couched in the acuity of Monitoring and Maintenance schedule. This has to be initiated immediately after the initial revegetation process is concluded, to ensure that the desired target land use is achieved within a reasonable time period. The soil amelioration and vegetation management is often overlooked leading to total failure. The after care has to be planned for a period of two to five years is to ensure establishment of plants after overcoming the initial growth constraints in the hostile environment. Another objective is the development of a viable soil-plant system with nutrient cycling and turnover to support the vegetation. After care involves various management strategies like addition of fertilizers, amendments, irrigation, gap filling, and other operations to ensure satisfactory growth of the species planted. The buildup of biomass and fertility of the soil would eventually lead to development of a soil profile and vegetation cover.
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Monitoring of fertility status especially nitrogen, soil reaction, plant protection are important to ensure a healthy growth environment. Once the soil has ameliorated and the plants established, the system develops on its-own but the process of equilibrium of the eco system will take a longer time.

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Planning restoration strategies

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Institutional mechanisms Each abandoned quarry shall be developed as a unit with multiple livelihood support systems and common property, managed by the community/stakeholder group and at the same time conserves resources, improves ecological foundations and quality of life. It is imperative to evolve collective consciousness among the members of the community, NGOs and SHGs shall organize themselves for success of the program and for reaping the bountiful of benefits. Monitoring quality of restoration programmes The key to success of any restoration programme is the early establishment of soil microbial population in the restored sites. Organic matter replenishment in the early stages of revegetation hastens easy establishment of the planted species and the soil microbial community. Monitoring of the quality of biodiversity, soil, water and air in the restored ecosystem periodically has to be undertaken for quality assessment. 3. Recommended measures for ensuring the safety and security of the general public and also animals; if the abandoned pits cannot be used for any particular purpose. Whether or not the quarry qualifies for any sort of restorative measure/s, erecting a metallic barricade is recommended, to serve as a protective and hazard warning structure to the public and animals. Proper warning signs shall be erected at specific points in all the foot paths and roads heading to the quarry or passing alongside the quarry. If the quarry is seasonally or permanently flooded in nature, warning signs also shall announce the average depth of ponded water.

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The Grama Panchayat (GP) concerned shall be in charge of securing and servicing, this fence. The GP will arrange with the school/s in the neighbourhood (i.e., within a radius of 1.0 Km from the quarry) mock drills twice every academic session (viz., before the onset of SW and NE monsoons) on the risks and hazards in trespassing into the quarry. The fenced abandoned quarry needs periodic maintenance, like de-weeding of the right of way of the protective fence. The MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program) funds could be used for the maintenance of the restored quarries. 4. Identify the agency which can restore the abandoned quarries. Currently, there is no readily available expert group in the government sector to assist the LSGs in identification, design and preparation of DPR or in the supervision and execution of restorative measures. Therefore, the committee recommends creation of: a. Separate cell (Abandoned Quarry Reuse Cell) in the Department of Mining and Geology, Govt. of Kerala to offer scientific and technical assist and to the LSG in reuse related activities. b. A panel of experts (viz., geologists, forestry/eco-restoration experts, hydrogelogists, farm scientists and civil engineers) to advise the Cell in formulating the modalities of reuse. c. The District/Block/Grama Panchayat concerned shall indent this agency to go for identification, design and implementation of restoration plan and future upkeep of the restored quarry.

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d. For developing the restorative measures, the LSG shall seek advice from one or more of their technical committees. This committee/s shall advise the Panchayat administration regarding the outsourcing or in house preparation of the DPR. The DPR will be evaluated by the Cell in the DMG and approved by the advisory committee prior to implementation. e. The LSG/Government can be in the lookout for industry/ institutions/ organizations directly involved in the quarrying or indirectly involved in quarrying as an end user or societal- well-wisher,, for adopting the implementation of DPR for restoration and post restoration maintenance for at least a period of 5 to 10 yr. 5. Legal/legislative measures, if any The existing rules and regulations governing quarry closure cover only tile and brick clay among the minor minerals. With the exception of a handful of instances, hardly any example of implementation of quarry closure can be cited from the state. In fact, the operator just abandons the operations without paying any heed to the clauses of contract that enable issue of the operating permit by the issuing authority. In order to take up the task of ensuring effective implementation of quarrying rules and to prevent violations, if any, it will be necessary to rejuvenate the mineral conservation and development wing of the state department. The staff should include mining engineers and geologists specially trained for this purpose. Also the rules have to be extended to all minor minerals in the state. While granting a quarrying permit, it should be made imperative on the part of the lessee to undertake to restore the landscape to its near-original state after quarrying, as in the case of major minerals. It is absolutely essential on the part of

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the government that provisions for realizing the actual cost of the restoration process projected in advance by taking into consideration the simulated areal extent and final depth of the quarry based on the submitted mine plan vis-à-vis the extant rules for limitations. It would be necessary for the department to take the services of mining engineers, RQPs and their supporting technical assistants to arrive at a realistic quantification of mineable reserves. Further, it would be necessary to involve the LSGs even at the stage of granting quarrying leases, so that there would be an on-the-spot check of the violations of the act and rules during ongoing operations. To take an example of the practices in a neighboring state, it would be worthwhile to note that in Tamil Nadu, each district Collectorate has a mines cell attached to it which is the recommending authority for the grant of mineral concessions. The staff at the Collectorate comprises Dy. Director and Asst. Director under whom a Tahsildar and Review Inspectors function as the supporting staff. This system has proved to be more effective in disposing of the applications for mineral concessions since the respective collectorates have been responsible for furnishing the availability of land and also for checking the day-to-day mining activity down to the village level. Introduction of this system in Kerala too deserves due consideration. The staff of the DMG, can be deputed to the Mines Cell to work in tandem with the Revenue team to address these issues. Existing Regulatory The following are the major acts and regulations controlling mining activities in India. a. The Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1967 govern quarrying related activities sanctioned by GOK. b. Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. c. Mineral conservation and Development Rules, 1988

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d. Granite Conservation and Development Rule, 1999 e. Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 f. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 g. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 h. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 i. Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

6. Financial implication required for reclamation/reuse The GOI (MMR, 1988) makes a provision of a bank guarantee of ` 150, 000/- per ha and a progressive- and final -mine closure plan, which are pre-conditions for the grant of mining lease for major minerals. In addition, the RQP (Registered Qualified Person), a professional authorized by the Indian Bureau of Mines, shall prepare a mining plan for the first five years along with a progressive Mine Closure Plan, which commences from the fourth year on wards. On the contrary, in the State with exception of a few, majority of operators leave the mined pits unattended. All the quarry operators in Kerala (abandoned or operating), follow a practice of “quarry and walk off”. This is in spite of the fa ct that at the time of applying for quarry permit, an undertaking in ` 50/- stamp paper to refill the quarry/pit including restoration of the soil profile. According to the public works department, GOK, obviously, the bank guarantee provided by the mine operator is not sufficient to cover the cost of reclamation of the mine pit. The SC recommends the following measures to create a corpus for restoration of quarry/pit. i. ii. Institute a reclamation bond. Create a Superfund to help finance the reclamation.

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iii.

The existing provision of Bank guarantee (in respect of major minerals), of ` 150,000/- per ha, shall be extended to the minor minerals including granite quarries.

iv.

According to the state PWD, this amount of ` 150,000/- is grossly insufficient to undertake the refilling operations. Therefore SC recommends enhancing this of this amount to at least ` 300,000/-.

7. How to restore quarry pits in a phased manner giving priority to category of mine, area and danger to the public. The quarries of Kerala are located in one or the other physiographic division’s viz., midland, low highland or portions of the high coastal land. The SC recommends the creation of Quarry Data Base as the first step in prioritizing and phasing of the restoration of abandoned quarries and pits. The request for reuse measures shall originate from the respective LSGs. The expert team then shall make a field inspection of the particular abandoned quarry to judge the level of priority warranted by the site. This will pave the way for taking up the quarry reuse program development/implementation. As a continuing process QDB shall also be the basis for research leading to prioritization of quarries for reuse related programs. ***************

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

CHAPTER-IV SUMMARY a. Nearly 8,000 to 10,000 quarries are in the State, of which roughly a third of this number is abandoned. Quarrying activities undoubtedly cause environmental damage and ecological imbalances. Abandoned quarries are blemishes on the landscapes and are focal points of hazards to community. The DMG has created a database of quarries covering eight southern districts of Kerala. The datasheet designed by the DMG needs addition of some more points to make it more comprehensive and realistic such that it is useful for anyone concerned with quarry reuse. The SC revised this datasheet (see Appendix-IX). Quarrying and mining are “evils” every modern society has to coexist with. The more modern the society, the larger the quantity of the earth materials extracted. b. The SC has examined the problems caused by the abandoned quarries and mine pits in the light of quarry-related accidents and ecological concerns. The SC has identified and recommended a host of reuse measures for restoration of abandoned quarries. Each abandoned quarry shall be developed as a unit with multiple livelihood support systems and common property, managed by the community/stakeholder group and at the same time conserves resources, improves ecological foundations and quality of life. c. In respect of major minerals, there are provisions as well as financial guarantees by the operating lessee to execute reclamation, rehabilitation/reuse measures of the mined out area. The Bank guarantee offered by the lessee holder is patently insufficient so that the reuse measures cannot be put in place by the PWD-the designated agency for this task. In contrast, as per the existing rules governing the stone quarrying operations in the State; there does not exist any bank guarantee on the part

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

of the lessee to be used for implementation of any sort of rehabilitation/reuse of abandoned quarries. Currently more than one agency is mandated to issue a quarrying permit leading to a situation where in the database or data on quarries become boundless. Quarrying for stone and laterite is currently covered by the The Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 1967. The quarry permit applications do not call for the nature of reuse strategy after stoppage of quarrying for want of scientific input. There does not exist a strategy or action plan for rehabilitation/ reuse of the abandoned quarries for any sort of common use, except in the case of tile and brick clay pits. There are no state laws prescribing a quarry as abandoned or orphaned. Currently, the quarry site is not identified by the DMG/GSI or not earmarked for extraction for rock, stone or similar materials. Issue of quarry permit does not require even a rapid EIA study. Quarries of the State generally fall under three generic classes’ viz., L Shaped Quarry, U-shaped Quarry, and U-in-L Quarry. The state government shall extend the provisions of Major Minerals Act in respect of minor minerals also. d. The corresponding royalty payable by the operator is far below what needs to be legitimately remitted. This is a great drain on the state’s revenue. The current system of opting for compounding of royalty is a great drain of revenue to the State. The SC recommends replacing the system by making suitable amendments to the rules, making the end-user pay the royalty. GOK may consider levying of royalty on the basis of ad valorem. The government may exempt the BPL families from paying the end-userroyalty. In Kerala, Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1967 does not prescribe any clause for prevention of abandoning of quarry by the lessee. The GOI has published draft rules “Minor Mineral Regulations and Development Act, 2011” in which majority of the existing rules governing the administration of major minerals have been extended to minor minerals. Mine closure plans should be insisted during the adjudication of

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

the lease as stipulated in the rules governing exploitation of major minerals in the country. The quarries found abandoned for more than 5 years have to be taken over by the LSG for adapting rehabilitation or to take up reuse measures. The SC recommends the GOK to make suitable legislative amendments enabling the takeover by LSGs. e. Quarried land or land for quarry permit applied is mostly under lease, or own land or public land. Bank guarantee for reclamation is to be provided before executing the lease to operate quarry. The bank guarantee shall be in tune with the production of quarry extracts during the first five years (as specified in the mining plan). All the quarries in the state are either in the operator’s own land, leased land or public land. This sort of ownership variation puts the reclamation of quarries public funds in a tricky situation. Quarries in patta land obviously create problems regarding investment of public funds for reclamation. On the other hand quarries in poramboke land do not pose any public investment related issues and hence are readysite for reclamation program. f. In the given climate of Kerala, large number of quarries is flooded perennially or ephemerally. In operating quarries, dewatering is resorted to for continuing quarrying operations. In the abandoned quarries, flooding is perennial and display micro-algal blooms. In respect of laterite/ brick and tile pits and abandoned clay mines, water logging is influenced by geological controls like a layer of impervious clayey formations (lithomargic clay, stratified clayey formations). The water ponded in these pits therefore could be seasonal or perennial. The abandoned clay mines on the other hand are “vast” pits on the landscape tending to collect and accumulate water sometimes sufficient enough to support supply to the community after treatment. g. An abandoned quarry on the left bank of Kuttiyadi river in Murad, Kozhikode district, has been transformed into a world-class example of

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

reuse of an abandoned perennially water-logged rock quarry spread over 2.0-3.0 ha. Sargalaya, an arts and crafts village as a tourism destination has been developed and managed by a co-operative society founded in 1925, supported by the Department of Tourism, GOK. h. The right of way of NH-49 at Mamala, sits perched on a “thin” rock wall (like on a natural rocky embankment) separating two deep-abandonedflooded-quarries to its north and south. An enterprising mind has chosen to run a mobile ice cream Kiosk at the road entrance to the fenced of quarry making the first step to develop the spot into a picnic centre/road side rest area. Currently, water accumulated and stored in a cluster of large abandoned quarries adjacent to Kochi Refineries Limited campus is used by the refinery to partially meet their needs. During water scarcity, the Pariyaram Medical College, Kannur meets part of its water requirement by ferrying tanker loads from a quarry to the East of the Medical College Campus. Some innovative brains in Kerala are raising ornamental/edible fish on a commercial scale in Palaghat district. Utilization of ponded water in the abandoned quarries for irrigating farmlands is successfully practiced in parts of Palaghat and Wayanad districts. In Trivandrum district, a large parcel of land reclaimed from an equally large, exhausted clay mine in Thonnakkal has been purchased by TCS, India for developing an office park. In Thonnakkal, Thiruvananthapuram district, a company operating a modern clay mine and a clay processing and up-gradation industry has been back-filling the mined pits and using the huge volumes of water gathering in the pits for use in the processing unit and recycling the used water for repeat use in the clay processing plant. In a large china clay pit at Mangalapuram, also in Thiruvananthapuram district, the accumulated water, after treatment is supplied to a community of about 200 families. At Kalluvathukkal, in Kollam district to the west of NH-47, there is a perennially flooded large (approx. 3.0 ha) abandoned quarry which

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Report of the Sub-Committee on Reuse of Abandoned Quarries and Mine Pits

considered by the LSG concerned for conversion into a children’s water park with GOI funds. The project, however, did not take off. i. Awareness program for members of LSGs, social activists, teachers and societal leaders is to be taken up to emphasize the need to cultivate technical knowhow for reuse of quarries/mines and their monitoring and management. The SC recommends to the GOK the initiation of reclamation of a U- and L-shaped quarry in a Poramboke land in the State to showcase the feasibility of the programme on restoration of the local-disturbedenvironment and conservation of ecosystem. ***************

vide GO (MS) No. 57/2011/ID dated 25-02-2011

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Appendix-I Know Your Quarry- A Course Outline Goal: Public awareness on the needs, science of siting, ancient and modern operations, management and scientific closure and reuse models and best practices. Content: Minerals and Rocks, decomposition and soil formation Climate and rainfall Durability of rocks and rock based artifacts Use of rocks and minerals in modern society and modern living Estimation of reserve of rocks: end use specific quality assessment. Methods of extraction of rocks and minerals from surface, near surface or subsurface. Rules concerning extraction; Adequacy or otherwise of the rules, Environmental impact, concerns Management of the quarrying operations. Stoppage of extraction and reasons Reclamation and Reuse of abandoned sites Monitoring and maintenance This one day (4 hr show and tell and 4 hr of field visit) on varied facets of extractive processes, scientific closure and restoration of land ecology of the disturbed areas warranting restoration Outcome: Successful achievement of general awareness of quarrying. ***************

Appendix-II Quarry Study Tour The students these days are taken around the state and even out side of the state on educational trips. For well known reasons, the quarries are yet to find a place in their itinerary. So is the media attention on quarries, except in respect of injuries/fatalities happening directly or indirectly due to the quarries? As a matter of new policy, the SC makes a strong bid to the GOK, to advise the schools to include a visit to a quarry for the high schoolers to bridge the element of information gap in respect of quarries. The District Geologist can bring out a hand out for use of visiting students and the school administration can download the same from the website of DMG. Outcome: Creating Quarry awareness among the students ***************

Appendix-III “Green” Fund for reuse treatment of quarries 1. The SC recommends to GOK to conduct a bumper lottery to raise a corpus (fund) for eco-restoration of disturbed land by quarrying. Considering the environmental awareness and high levels of literacy, this lottery shall fetch a profit of at least ` 20.0-30.0 crores. When the SC suggests this, it has in mind the Christmas-, Onam-, Vishu-Bumper etc. This profit can serve as nucleus funds for initiating restoration works before the last quarter of this financial year. 2. 3. A WB/ADB loan for environmental rehabilitation of the quarried lands may be thought of. Introduce a new cess of 5% of unit cost of quarry extracts and value added quarry extracts. ***************

Appendix-IV Quarry Reuse Advisory Cell, Q-RAC Q-RAC is envisioned as an expert advisory body to help in the formulation of measures for quarry reuse. Creation: The GOK will make the appointment of members to the committee out of a panel proposed by the DMG, GOK. The senior most scientist member shall be act as Chairman of the committee. Composition: This committee shall have geoscientists, Farm scientists, Environmental Scientists, GIS Experts and Senior Engineers, at least one each from each specialty. The convenor shall be a Geoscientist at the rank of at least Dy. Director in the DMG, GOK. Periodicity of meeting: The committee shall meet at least once every three months or as demanded by the convenor. Functions: The committee shall examine and/or hear requests from the LSG or

organizations ready to take up and implement reuse measures of quarry/ies and based on the data made available shall arrange for design of a procedure for implementation in the site to enable an optimal reuse. The members of the committee shall make field visits before finalizing the reuse plan. Finance: The members of the committee shall be eligible for a sitting fee as well as TA and DA for attending meetings are trips and tasks related to quarry reuse. Tenure of membership: The tenure of members in the committee shall be five years. This is to fall in line with the tenure of the LSG members, as well as programs under the V yr plan. ***************

Appendix-V Quarry Data Cell, Q-DAC The System The SC has come to the inescapable conclusion that the GOK may take the necessary steps (Conceptual, Administrative and Financial or whatever) required to create a QDAC under the DMG. Outwardly it might seem redundant, in the light of data bases maintained in other agencies of GOK. Unanimously, the SC has come to the understanding that a data base of quarries of all sorts (including mines, brick and tile clay pits, laterite pits etc) in the state shall be enumerated with both static and dynamic data elements, so that information is available to access at any time of the day from the Q-DAC server. The SC designed a sample format for gathering quarry specific data. This data base is a pre-requisite for restorations site identification, quarry product supply management and so on. . Goal An automated computer based data base on quarries of Kerala is the minimal goal envisioned by the SC. The data base is scalable and could be the basis for monitoring the process of quarrying, spatial distribution of all quarries, accidents, stoppages of work and reasons and consequences etc. Structure of the Cell The cell shall be an integral part of the DMG. A GIS-Geologist assisted by two Assistant Geologists will be in charge of the day to day operations

Advisory Panel Policies and action plans shall be formulated by a advisory committee of scientists drawn from the GSI, Kerala, CGWB, Kerala, DMG, and Professor of Geology, Dept, of Geology, University of Kerala. The DMG shall nominate the committee members. Staff, Finance and Infrastructure In the Headquarters Geologist -1; Asst. Geologist -2 The cell will need new staff for one team each for northern and southern districts Hardware and software cost: ` 50 lakhs Data collection: ` 30/- lakhs (This mission can be accomplished by deploying a large survey team trained in the enumeration of quarry data along the lines prescribed in the sample data enumeration sheet). Other Infrastructure: A team of one geologist and two assistant geologists will be in charge of quarry inventory and enumeration work in the northern districts (i.e., Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod) and another team with same staffing pattern will be in charge of the southern districts (Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki and Ernakulam). The deployment of student volunteers (on a honorarium) of the physical science stream with minimal orientation will be a great addition to this programme. For this two field vehicles, drivers, fuel and maintenance cost etc. ***************

Appendix-VI Inventorying of Quarriable Tracts in Kerala The SC recommends to GOK to launch a three year (three field season) program to map the potential tracts in the land area of Kerala to demarcate the quarriable tracts, affording due consideration to environmental and social impacts to meet the future requirements at least until 2030. The demand for quarry extracts shall jump episodically during this time band. Projects like Kochi Metro, doubling of rail roads, construction of the new north-south intra-state highway, new airports, the Vizhinjam trans-shipment port and malls, flats, schools, power projects etc will call for large additional sources of quarry products. The GOK will have to take up the issue and implement it through the DMG and involving the GSI. ***************

Appendix-VII Redesign DMG Website with Additional Content The SC is of the opinion that the website of DMG, as it stands today needs an overhaul especially in the context of knowledge society and e-governance. In addition to posting downloadable forms, the activities and scientific functions discharged by the DMG should be part of the website. Quarries, quarrying, its essentiality to the society and nation building should find a place. A citizens’ FAQs is essential in the site. ***************

Appendix-VIII Scientific Advisory Board Unlike many other arms of the GOK, the DMG is a scientific organization, in that the technical staff are scientists in the pursuit of scientific utilization and management of natural resource. The SC is of the unanimous view that a statutory scientific advisory board be created to advise the DMG to better administer the non-living resources of the state to the benefit of the state and nation. This type of advisory board, in practically all the nations of the modern world, is devised to ensure the inventorying and sustainable managing of specific natural resources for common good. In the various Indian states, the practice of installing a scientific advisory board to advise on the medium and long term resource use and management policies is not in vogue. The SC strongly recommends to the GOK of creation of an advisory board to assist the DMG and the team of scientists in discharging their duties and obligations for the welfare of the public of the state, Composition of the advisory board: 1. A senior geoscientist of the KSCSTE 2. Director, Geological Survey Unit of the state 3. RD, CGWB, Kerala 4. Director (or nominee), Mines and Geology, Tamil Nadu 5. Director (or nominee), Mines and Geology, Karnataka 6. Professor, Department of Geology, (from University of Kerala & CUSAT, Kochi) 7. Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Div., ISSER 8. DMG, Convener Periodicity of meeting: Once a year or as demanded by the exigencies

Appointment of Members: Secretary, Industries Department, GOK from a panel provided by DMG. Term: Reconstitution once in five years. ***************

Appendix-IX GOVERNMENT OF KERALA DEPARTMENT OF MINING AND GEOLOGY QUARRY DATABASE MISSION (QUARRY ENUMERATION SHEET-DRAFT)

Name of Enumerator: Date and time of site visit: Data sheet ID:

Enumerator ID:

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION 1.District: 3. Village: 5. Name of Lessee: 6. Contact Address: 6a.Permanent address: 6c. Contact Phone/s: 7.Operating: If abandoned, specify: 11. Patta 7a. operating from 8.Non-remunerative, 13.Forest 6d.E-mail: STATE OF QUARRY 7b.Abandoned 9.Court order 14. Survey ID 7c. abandoned from 10.Public apathy 15. Other 2. Taluk: 4.GPW/No

QUARRY LAND OWNERSHIP 12. Poramboke

DETAILS OF DMG PERMISSIONS, APPROVALS 16. Lease 18. Area covered by lease 20. SOI sheet ID: 21.GPS ID GPS reference to 4 corners and centre if dry 20a. Scale: 21a. @.Quarry: 22a. N. 22b.E. 22c.S: 22d.W: 22e.C: 17. Permit : 19.Tenure of lease/permit: GEOSPATIAL PARAMETERS 20b. CARTOSAT Scene ID: 21b. at main rd.

PROFILE OF QUARRY EXTRACT 23a. Rubble 23e.BrickLaterite 23b. Aggregates 23f. Red earth 23c. Road metal 23h. Tile clay 23d. Rail ballast 23k.China clay 23g. Brick clay

24. Approximate Annual Production: MODE OF PAYMENT OF ROYALTY 32a: Quarterly 32b. Half yearly 32c. Annually QUARRY - PHYSICAL PARAMETERS 33. Extent of active operational area (in ar/ha): 34. Type of Quarry 35c. Width of floor, m: 36a.U-shaped 36d. Depth, m: 36h.Shallow (<2.0 m) PHOTO/VIDEO RECORD, Camera at points identifiable at later dates. 37a. Date of photo: 37c.Shot from main gate 37f.. View toward left 38a. Nearest school, km 38d. Nearest hospital 39a. Sheet rock 39d. Drainage basin-ID 39i. Source of drinking water NATURAL HAZARDS 40a. Earth tremors 40d. Flood 41a. Fire induced 42a. Joint systems (1, 2, 3) 40b. Landslips 40f. Loss of life, if any OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS 41b. Blasting triggered 42b. Joint spacing (50 cm, 100 cm, 200 cm/massive) 41c. Lorry mishaps 42c. Foliation/Gneissocity GEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK 40c. Debris flow 37g. View downward CULTURAL SETTING 38b. Nearest place of worship 38e. Nearest police station 39b. Ridge 39e. Nearest wetland 38c. Nearest house/settlement 38f. Nearest fire station 39c. Isolated hill 39f. Nearest farm land 39h. Dominant birds and animals 37b.Date of Videography 37d.View straight into 37e. View toward right 35a. L-shaped 35d. L.working face, m 36b. Length, m: 36e.Water logged 36f. Dry 35b. length of face, m: 35e. working floor, m: 36c.Width, m: 36g. Deep(>2.0m)

ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING

39g. Dominant natural vegetation

42d. Nature, type and state of intrusive HYDROLOGIC SETUP 43a. Type of streams (ephemeral/perennial) 44. State of subsurface water a. Depth to water level in wells within 100 m of quarry perimeter (<10.0 m/10.1-15.0 m/>15.1 m) b. Nature of wells (seasonal/perennial) c. Influence of quarrying on water levels; Wells w/n 50.0 m (rise/fall/dry) VISUAL IMPACTS 50.1-75.0 m (rise/fall/dry) 75.1-100.0 m (rise/fall/dry) 43b. Degree of elimination by quarry/spoil dump 43c.

***************

Appendix-XI GOVERNMENT SUB-COMMITTEE TO RECOMMEND ON THE REUSE OF ABANDONED QUARRIES AND MINE PITS IN KERALA. (Vide GO. (MS) N0.57/2011 dtd 25-2-11) (Members: M/s Chandramohana Kumar, Dr. Thrivikramji KP, MP Muraleedharan, J. Pradeep Kukillaya, Dr VK Venugopal)

1. Prologue The proliferation of abandoned quarries and mine pits, AQ&MP, (i.e., rock / laterite quarries and china clay mines) across the state of Kerala, and accidental drowning deaths that have become sort of routine, has intensely affected the psyche of the average public. This “annoyance” has taken “ugly” turns and expression of ire in public, in the form of protests of various sorts. The loss of scores of young lives annually in the water pools in the abandoned quarries or mine pits indeed, is a sad fact and consequently the GOK appointed the Subcommittee (SC) to undertake a scientific data collection and analysis, based on which to recommend scientific methods of their reuse merging with the site specific landscape features and hence avoidance of such quarry-drowning-deaths on a tangible manner.. 2. Current Status With the national GDP growing at the rate of 8 or 9 percent, the need for quarried construction materials (like rock and aggregates) is immeasurable and keeps growing. Besides steel, quarried rock and aggregates are the principal bulk in all modern constructions (as well as maintenance) like airports and harbours, rail roads and highways, industrial, commercial and residential blocks, power projects and drinking water supply schemes and so on. Consequently, quarrying is now an industry and rising demand will add an extra spurt in the number of new quarries as well as abandoned quarries. Truly, in Kerala there are at least 8000 to 9000 operating rock quarries (both legal and illegal), to meeting the domestic demand for rock and aggregates. More over the proposed Vizhinjam Port and the four-laning of highways will require a huge input (Billions of tons) of rock and aggregate, putting deeper demands for the rock and byproducts. Nevertheless, another set of pits needing a rehabilitation policy are the scores of abandoned brick/tile clay pits in the Kole of Thrissur and in the floodplains of several rivers. The abandoned quarries and mine pits certainly and unequivocally, are primary indelible eye sores and scars on the otherwise near natural landscape of the state. In reality, there is another possible secondary consequence/s like partial or complete (yet seasonal or perennial) flooding of the ex-quarries. Another eyesore is quarry associated waste piles of unsold rubble covering the immediate rim of the quarry – a residual feature due to an absence of exit of quarrying/mining operations.

A tertiary consequence is often reported drowning deaths of scores of youngsters annually. Thus pools of rain water or groundwater accumulating seasonally and in variable depths into the AQ&MP have more negative attributes (ignoble site of accidental drowning & deaths) than positive benefits for the neighborhood community. Such pools of water are quite attractive to the youngsters (in the communities near and far) as sites for adventure recreations or escapades.

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Therefore, we the members of the SC sincerely and earnestly seek your cooperation r by answering the queries or offering your comments to the statements appearing in the following pages. The data we gather through this effort will go a long way in finalizing our recommendations to the GoK. [We are indeed pleased to request you (the respondent) to cooperate with us by responding to the following set of queries / suggestions raised in the pages that follow. You respond either by making a check mark or a circle around your choice or writing in your opinion. We do know well that some of the questions are targeted at professionals. We request you to study the content before attempting to record your views.]

PART I Your Name: Address: e-mail/Post Age: Phone (M) Other Affiliation (Check or circle one): Social activist / LSG- President / LSG-Member / Member- NGO / Professional / Quarry operator / Resident near Quarry: 50-100 m / 101-500 m/ >500 m

PART II [This section addresses the socio-cultural aspects. Check/circle your response or write in your comment]

Socio-cultural setting: Distance from School/s: <50 m / 51- 100 m/ 101- 500 / >500.0 m Distance from Town/village centre: <50 m / 51- 100 m / 101- 500 m / >500 m Distance from a place of worship: <50 m / 51- 100 m / 101- 500 m / >500 m Distance from Public road: <50 m: 51- 100 m; 101- 500 m; >500 m

Physical Setting of Quarry site Location-Administrative a. Panchayath and division/ward: b. Type of Quarry Land Title: Public / Puramboke / Janmam / Lease

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Location-Physical c. On sheet rock: Thin or no soil covered nearly flat rocky rolling land On Hill / ridge slope: d. Facing a valley linked by a quarry road to a two way road by e. Alongside and directly facing a two way road f. Stream/s emptying into quarry/pit g. Stream/s blocked by quarry spoil dump Soil Overburden a. Thickness of soil overburden noticed on quarry wall: 50 cm / 51-100 cm / 101-200 cm/ > 201 cm b. Soil type: In situ / transported c. Soil category: Lateritic / sandy soil / red sandy loam/ clayey loam / other specify Quarry Metrices Quarry Floor Elevation, amsl: Quarry lip (top) elevation, amsl: Approximate Dimensions in m: DepthWidthLength-

Overall appearance a. Wide and shallow pit with low angle rocky walls & access road descending in b. Deep and narrow pit with high angle rocky walls & access road descending in: c. Steep cut on hill slope with active floor deep and down below d. Steep cut on hill slope with active face on the quarry wall. Current State of quarry/pit e. Water logged: yes / no; If yes, Duration/period: >4 months of yr <4 months of yr Source of water: Rain / stream flow / Ground water / all

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Peak water depth in Monsoon: <1 m / 1-2 m / 2-3 m / > 3 m

PART III (Though answering this section, (by circling one or more options), might call for special professional knowledge, respondent could make a try with the help of professionals or might even skip this section). Geological Makeup: a. Quarried rock: Granite / Laterite / Bauxite / Tile & Brick Clay / China clay / Other b. Joint systems: one/two/ three systems Joint spacing: 50 cm / 100 cm / 200 cm Intrinsic weathered zones/layers: Yes / no; if yes approximate visible dimensions Foliations and gneissocity: Nature, type and state of Intrusives: State of Subsurface water Depth to water level in wells in the proximity: <10 m / 10-15 m / > 15 m Nature of wells in the proximity: Steady / seasonal Influence of Quarrying on water level in wells in the proximity: In wells within 50 m of the Quarry: rise / fall / turned dry In wells within 50-75 m of the Quarry: rise / fall / turned dry In wells > 75 m of the Quarry: rise / fall / turned dry State of surface water State of stream/s: Ephemeral / perennial Stream Order in and around quarry: Are stream/s eliminated by quarry/spoil dump: Visual Impacts:

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Possible Environmental Impacts:

Potential for Pollution:

PART IV Reasons for abandoning of quarrying a. Non-availability of rock desired quality and quantity b. Operational problems due to increasing depth c. Water logging of operational area d. Others (write in) :

Chronicle of abandoned Quarry related accidents A.Rock/debris fall: year/s ; Life/s lostb. Debris slump: Year/sc. Drowning: Yea/s; Life/s lost;Life/s lost-

; Disabled life/s: ; Disabled life/s: ; Disabled life/s:

PART V We also request you (the respondent) to choose from the following list one or more method/s of reuse of abandoned quarries/mine pits or write in your suggestions. Suggested Reuse Strategy/Process (Check / circle your prioritized choices or write in your option not in the list) a. Rain Water harvesting b. Pisciculture c. Horticulture d. Horticultural Nurseries e. Play grounds / parks / water sports f. Housing colony g. Bus terminal

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h. Truck terminal i. Mini shopping malls and community halls j. Cinema halls k. l. m. n.

PART VI [A number of quarries (operating or abandoned) are in the patta land. Seemingly the Departments of GOK might find it difficult to implement interventions in private land enabling re-use. Here respondent may writein possible means of implementing the reuse measures in such abandoned quarry land.] Some proposals (you may circle one or more or write in your view): a. LSG to acquire the land for any post exit use.

b. Create a State land bank by legislation

c. Create co-operative societies for value added re-use

d. Any other:

[We the members of the SC express our sincere gratitude for your cooperation in this mission and also for providing your input based on your concerns and care in respect of formulating feasible solutions for such community issues. Committee can be contacted in any one of the following addresses: thrivikramji@gmail.com or venu555621@yahoo.com or mpmurali@gmail.com or

chandramohan52@yahoo.com or gwkuki@yahoo.co.in]

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