Telangana: Blasting at Keesara shakes up temple

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Priests, pilgrims usually experience vibrations when the rocks are blasted.

Hyderabad: The Ramalingeswara Swamy temple at Keesaragutta, about 20 km from the city, and its sanctum sanctorum are facing a risk from frequent blasting of rocks by stone-crushing units. Priests and pilgrims usually experience vibrations in the temple when the rocks are blasted.

There are nearly 30 stone crushing units and quarries in the areas surrounding the temple, many of which have encroached into the social forest land and are destroying the rocks without permission from the mines or revenue departments.
Keesara in Ranga Reddy district is located on the border with Nalgonda district, and the owners of stone crushing units cross the district limits as no official from the district turns up to check on them.

The units are located in Keesara, Bhogaram, Timmayipally, Akkireddypally and Yadgiripalli in Kees-ara mandal and Kesha-vapur and Bommala Ram-aram in Nalgonda district.

Earlier, the rajagopuram was partially damaged due to the blasting. Temple committee chairman T. Umapati blamed the situation on erring mines and revenue officials.

“When Devender Goud was the home minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh, he was taken aback by the vibrations while performing abhishekam. Since then we have been fighting against illegal stone crushing units,” he said.

Sonubai, a pilgrim from Maharashtra at the temple last week, said she and her family were waiting for the temple to open in the afternoon. “In two hours, we heard blasting sound thrice from nearby localities and we felt that there was a minor earthquake,” she said.

The walls of houses located in Keesara and surrounding areas are developing cracks due to the frequent blasting by stone crushing units. Mr Devender Goud constructed a bungalow near the temple, but its walls developed cracks within six months due to the blasting.

Stone crushing units, which supply stones for the construction and dust (stone powder) have hiked production on the backdrop of an increase in the realty business and are working round the clock.

Most stone crushing unit owners have purchased two or three acres of land to set up the units and illegally occupied five to 20 acres of forest land next to their site. Some owners who have a political background have constructed compound walls enclosing the forest land as well.

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