Hc Bats For Separate Sand Quarrying Dept, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

April 2, 2024

<p>Representative Image</p>
Representative Image

MADURAI: The state govt has to take a decision to constitute a separate department for conducting sand quarry operations without depending upon any private lifting or transporting operators, to achieve the objective of Rule 38A of the Tamil Nadu Minor Mineral Concession Rules, the Madras high court has observed.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed in 2023 by S Samathanam challenging the proceedings issued by the Ramanathapuram district collector granting permission to the executive engineer, public works department (PWD), water resources organisation (WRO) for quarrying sand in Pambar river in Sirgampaiyur village. The petitioner stated that though permission was granted to the authorities, they had engaged an individual who is indulging in indiscriminate quarrying.

However, the state submitted that the authorities had engaged a contractor for excavating and loading the sand in the quarry site and also for transporting the quarried sand to the govt depot. The movement of sand is monitored through CCTV in the mining site as well as in the depot and GPS devices are also fixed in vehicles.

A division bench of justice G R Swaminathan and justice B Pugalendhi observed that as per Rule 38A of the Tamil Nadu Minor Mineral Concession Rules, the right to exploit sand vests only with the state govt from 2003. However, Rule 38A was given a go-by by engaging private individuals as contractor. It appears that the WRO authorities are not having sufficient machines and equipment to carry out the quarry operations and they are dependent on the private individuals for quarry operations.

Since in this case the quarry permit was granted only upto Sep 2023 and the period itself is over and that the entire quarry operations, movement of vehicles have been monitored, the court is not inclined to pass any orders. However, the judges directed the authorities to ensure that the operations are performed only by the govt. The petition was disposed of.

  • Published On Apr 2, 2024 at 07:00 PM IST

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