VELLORE: Residents of Kalathur village in Arakkonam taluk petitioned the district administration to stall the efforts of vested interest to create a sand quarry along the Palar riverbed near their village. They also charged that the local body was hand in glove with the persons indulging in sand smuggling from the riverbed.
The villagers submitted the petition to Collector R Nanthagopal during the public grievance meeting on Monday. In the petition they said, Palar was the main source of drinking water for the entire village. They were totally dependent on the water from the riverbed in the absence of any other water source. Sand smuggling had been on the rise from the riverbed in the recent past. The administration of the local body was also supporting the persons indulging in sand smuggling and taking steps to establish sand quarry in the locality, the villagers claimed. They said, a youth was arrested and jailed recently for raising his voice against the vested interests.
The environment would be polluted if the district administration allowed the sand quarry to come up near their village. The villagers also pleaded the administration to take tough action against sand smugglers and the local administration aiding them. Reacting to the petition, Collector Nanthagopal directed an official of the public works department to inquire the petition and submit a detailed report.
The Collector also distributed sewing machines worth `68,100 to beneficiaries of government welfare schemes at the grievance meeting.