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Equip team probing sand mining: HC to TN

Illegal and excessive mining on Cauvery and Vaigai river banks causing massive environmental damage

PTI


The Madras high court bench here has directed the Tamil Nadu government to provide enough staff and other amenities for the state level monitoring committee to curb illegal sand quarrying,and ensure proper and skilful quarrying of sand from the river bed.

A division bench of justice P Jyothimani and justice M M Sundresh recorded the submission made by the advocate general K Chellapandian that it had been constituted as per court directions and assumed office on March24. It had been given infrastructure facilities at P S Kumarasamy Raja Salai.

The judges directed the petitioners including farmers associations to approach the panel on illegal and excessive quarrying from various rivers including Cauvery and Vaigai,and environmental degradation due to the same.

The committee should resolve the disputes in consultation with the public works department officials and respective collectors. If there were any problems, regarding the powers of the committee, they could be brought to the notice of the court with a proper application.

The judges asked the petitioners to approach the committee first as per the orders of the bench.

Earlier, on December 2 last year, a division bench had ordered the constitution of the committee while disposing of a batch of PILs, including one filed by CPI leader R Nallakannu.

The judges had also made it clear that the committee would be in existence intially for a period of two years and duration could be extended depending upon the need.