Sand mining: HC orders issue of notices to authorities

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Chennai: The Madras High Court has ordered issue of notices to the Tamil Nadu government and to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, on a PIL seeking a direction to stop quarrying of sand from any of the rivers in the state and also to initiate prosecution against PWD officials.

The court gave the direction recently on a PIL by P Ettikan against river sand mining carried out by PWD engineers violating rules.

He submitted that the officials were carrying out the sand mining in the rivers by using machinery while clearances were given by state level Environmental Impact Assessment Authority only for manual mining.

Referring to a review by M Naveen Saviour, a research scholar in the department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, the petitioner submitted that the report said that environmental impact of sand mining are disastrous in Tamil Nadu.

The damage includes the depletion of ground water, lesser availability of water for industrial and agricultural and drinking purposes destruction of agricultural lands the petitioner said.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing to December 13.

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