Bengaluru: After strong protests by Hindu activists on protecting the revered Karinja Sri Karinjeshwar Temple in Bantwal, the Karnataka Government has issued an order banning all types of mining and crusher activities within a 2km radius around the temple. However, by now the area has been exploited by the quarry mafia, reports suggest.
The ban comes in response to sustained efforts by the Hindu Jagran Samiti, a Hindu nationalist organization, which had petitioned the government to take action to permanently stop mining in the area and safeguard the temple’s sanctity. The organization’s efforts were supported by Bantwal MLA Rajesh Naik Ulippadiguthu, who had called on the district in-charge minister Sunil Kumar to declare the area a mining ban zone.
Following the Chief Minister’s directive, a joint site inspection was conducted around the temple by the Mangaluru Assistant Commissioner and the Deputy Director of the Department of Mines and Geology. Based on the inspection report, the DK Deputy Commissioner had sent a proposal to the government to declare the area surrounding the Karinja temple as a no-mining zone and impose a ban on mining activities in a 2 km perimeter around the temple.
In exercise of the powers contained in Rule 8(3) of the Karnataka Sub-Mineral Concession Rules, 1994, the Under Secretary of the Department of Industries and Commerce has ordered that mining be prohibited with immediate effect.
The decision has been welcomed by the Hindu Jagran Samiti and local residents who had been concerned about the adverse impact of mining activities on the environment and the temple’s sanctity. Speaking on the occasion, MLA Rajesh Naik Ulippadiguthu said that the move was a victory for the people and would go a long way in preserving the cultural heritage of the region.
The Karinja Sri Karinjeshwar Temple is a popular pilgrimage site and draws devotees from all over the region. The ban on mining activities in the vicinity of the temple is expected to provide a much-needed respite to the temple’s surroundings and preserve its sanctity for future generations.