TIRUNELVELI: Farmers at Sokkanathanpatti alleged that the officials of revenue and public works departments permitted illegal sand miners to dig out raw materials for M-sand in Pandarakulam of Alangulam taluk here on Sunday.
Speaking to Express, they said illicit sand miners were being provided with the permit passes in the name of those farmers who were allowed to take desilted soil (vandal) to undertake farming activities as per the GO.
“The sand miners are given the pass only to take 100 units of desilted soil. However, they mine more than 1,000 loads of specific rock pieces, seen below 10-foot from the surface, for using at the M-sand manufacturing unit. Also, they use excavators to dig more than 20 feet beside the ponds, because of which the groundwater from the pits is leaking,” they said.
An Alangulam-based activist said that the invaluable natural resources from various ponds were being stolen uninterruptedly due to sand mafia nexus between miners and officials.
“They are presently mining raw materials for M-sand in Pandarakulam and selling them to a private M-sand crusher in Avudaiyanur village. The officials are receiving lakhs of rupees as a kickback for providing the permit pass. They do not conduct surprise inspection in Pandarakulam, where large pits are being dug openly. The illicit sand miners have stored a 1,000 tractor loads of specific crushed rocks in Vengadampatti village,” he alleged.
Tahsildar of Alangulam Kanthappan assured to conduct inspection at Pandarakulam and take severe action against illicit sand miners.