Madras HC orders closure of all sand quarries in TN in 6 months

Madurai, November 29: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Wednesday ordered closure of all sand quarries in Tamil Nadu within the next 6 months and also said that no new sand quarry should come up in the state.

The court further directed the government to monitor illegal transporting of the river sand. The order has been passed in the public interest considering the need to protect rivers, environment and farmers in the state, the judge said.

 The judge also directed the Tamil Nadu government to release the Malaysian sand from the Tuticorin port.

 

The court also said that no new sand quarry should come up in the state. The court asked the state government to consider the import of sand through the state-owned corporation to meet the shortfall.

Stating that the order has been passed in the public interest considering the need to protect rivers, environment, and farmers in the state, Justice R Mahadevan also directed the government to monitor illegal transporting of the river sand.

 In the order, Justice Mahadevan further directed quarries of granite and other minerals, except jelly, must be closed periodically to maintain ecological balance. The State shall also depute a team of experts from the Geological Department to identify and process the import of sands and minerals from countries which permit export.
The government take a decision on the import of the river sand by state-owned corporations to meet out short supply, the court observed.
The court also directed the Centre to issue appropriate guidelines specifying the type of sand and its usage so as to enable the importers to get appropriate certificates from the exporter authorities in other countries.
By Madhumitha Viswanath with Agency Inputs