VELLORE: Tension gripped Chinna Thottalam and neighbouring villages near Madhanur after the villagers seized tractor- trolleys being used to transport sand from the newly inaugurated sand quarries in Palar riverbed near here on Friday.
The villagers have been protesting for long against the new sand quarries. They said the sand quarries were taking away more number of units of sand than what was prescribed by the government. Sand-miners from different districts had come with around 30 tractors to transport sand from Palar river. The villagers of Chinna Thottalam had staged many protests against the government’s move on new quarries. But the government never took the matter seriously, they said.
Supporting the villagers against the sand quarries, traders associations also observed a bandh.
For many villages in Vellore, Palar river is the main source of water. But, sand- mining had increased in many parts like Walajah and Ranipet. Many protests for and against the move of new sand quarries by people had been witnessed by the Vellore government officials recently. The bullock cart owners had also recently demanded to lift the ban on sand-mining and open the sand quarries.