Around 20 ‘gelatin sticks’ were recovered from an abandoned mining area near the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) dam in Karnataka’s Mandya district, police said on Tuesday.

According to Mandya police, 11 detonators and 20 gelatin sticks were recovered from an abandoned quarry situated in controversial Baby Betta (Hill) in Panadvapura taluk in Mandya, after local shepherds alerted them about the explosive materials dumped there.

On July 18, a similar cache of explosives was recovered from government cattle grazing land situated in Baby Betta.

A senior police officer told IANS that as mining activity in this region has come to standstill for the last one month, shepherds often find ’empty shells of gelatine sticks’ that were used and left in the mining area and this often hits the headlines.

“We have taken precautionary measures, conveyed a message to shepherds in the region not to press the panic button by uploading these images on social media, and instead, inform us. This time that is what they did. These shells appear to be empty ones. But, as per procedures, we have sent them to explosive experts to ascertain the accuracy in local residents’ allegations,” the police officer said.

Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh had been raising concerns about the safety of the KRS dam, one of the oldest in the country, claiming that the threat of the cracks getting bigger looms large over the entire region.

Though the state government and officials concerned have tried their best to clarify that the dam was safe but allegations continue to galore among the public and people in the region continue to panic.

The almost century old KRS dam is built across river Cauvery in Srirangapatna in Mandya.

One of the oldest structures in the state, it is a gravity dam made of surkhi mortar, below the confluence of the Cauvery with its tributaries Hemavati and Lakshmana Tirtha, in Mandya.

With its foundation stone laid on November 11, 1911 and work completed in 1924, the same is the main source of water for Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mandya districts, and also supports irrigation in Mysuru and Mandya.

The water released from this dam flows into neighbouring Tamil Nadu and is stored in Mettur dam in its Salem district.

–IANS

nbh/vd

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