Unsettling blows

Unsettling blows THE blasting Of Chandardinga hills source of granite rocks - situated on the banks of Brahmaputra in Dhubri district of Assam has blown up into a big issue (Down To Earth, Vol 4, No 18). The matter has now been dragged to the Guwahati High Court by the Appropriate Technology Mission, Assam, a non -governmental organisation which has filed a public interest case against the blasting. Subsequently, the court has issued notices to the director of geology and mining of the government-owned Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation and the exporter, Rock Product Traders.

Environmentalists fear that the blasting could change the course of the river causing environmental degradation, besides monetary losses. The hill protects huge low-lying areas of Bilasipara sub-division of Dhubri district from inundation. Located along the north bank, the hill also controls the hydrological regime of one of the most erosive rivers in the world. Environmentalists believe that the export of granites to Bangladesh is a ploy to make huge profits by re-exporting them to the Gulf.