Quarrying poses threat to leaf-nosed bats in Kolar | Bengaluru News – Times of India

KOLAR: Environmentalists of Kolar are up in arms against the district administration’s decision to allow quarrying for production of M-sand in Devarayasamudra hillocks. A PIL has been filed in Karnataka high court against the move.
Devarayasamudra hillocks are spread over 1,200 acres and Hanumanahalli, which is home to the endangered leaf-nosed bats, falls in this hilly region. The decision to allow quarrying activities has affected ecology of the area and the bats’ habitat, said environmentalist and former CMC councillor KN Thyagaraju.
Attempts to commence quarrying have been stopped by villagers who flocked to the hills and staged demonstrations.
Thyagaraju said Hanumanahalli has numerous caves which are home to leaf-nosed bats and Durga Das bats. Two years ago, a team from Osmania University, Hyderabad had conducted a survey in the region and found the presence of these two types of endangered bats, he said.
He said an NGO is planning to develop a bird park in the area and if quarrying is allowed, blasting and other activities would hamper these initiatives. The rainwater that collects in the hilly region fills over 50 waterbodies, and over 20 villages will be affected by the quarrying, Thyagaraju alleged.
A residential school is located a stone’s throw away from the hillocks, he said, adding the gram panchayat too is not in favour of allowing quarrying activities in the area.
Leaf-nosed bats or Hipposideros hypophyllus are quite unique as they possess only one pair of supplementary leaflets as against other species of bats which have two pairs. This particular species is found only in Kolar district and nowhere else in the world. Findings of the Osmania varsity team revealed there are about 300 such bats in the caves of Hanumanahalli.
Durga Das bats are endemic to India and found only in Madhya Pradesh besides Kolar.
Thyagaraju said a PIL has been filed in the HC against the decision of the district administration and the court has issued notices to district authorities. Maksood Ahmed, superintendent at the district mines and geology department, said they have not received any notice from the HC and if they do, they would give a suitable reply.

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Sagar Biswas

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