After Thoothukudi, Jaya halts mineral mining in 4 more districts
By Express News Service | Published: 18th September 2013 07:35 AM |
Ahead of an impending policy decision on mining minerals, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday ordered the suspension of mining operations in quarries of major minerals (Beach Minerals) in four southern districts — Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Madurai and Tiruchy. Mining was suspended in Thoothukudi on August 9. The CM also directed the special team headed by Revenue Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi, which carried out a probe into illegal mining at quarries in Thoothukudi district to inspect the 71 quarries in the four districts to ascertain irregularities if any and submit a report to the government.
In a statement here, the Chief Minister said a policy decision on the quarries of major minerals would be taken based on the report to be filed by the special team. The announcement comes after the Revenue Secretary submitted his report to her at the Secretariat.
Further, the Chief Minister’s announcements assumes significance in the wake of demands for the state to take over mineral mining in Tamil Nadu and redirect the huge revenue to the tune of thousands of crores being gobbled up by private players to the Government Exchequer.
During her previous tenure as the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa ordered taking over of sand quarrying business by the State government and when largescale irregularities in granite quarries came to the limelight last year, expectations were soaring that government would take over granite quarrying too. Further, it was during her previous tenure that the state took over retail sale of IMFL as cartelisation deprived the state of its legitimate revenue.
Stating that minerals play a key role in earning revenue to the government as well as ensuring the economic growth of the country, the Chief Minister said no one should engage in illegal mining of these minerals or exceed the limits prescribed by the government.