CHENNAI: Four trucks loaded with sea sand transported by a Kamarajar Port sub-contractor were seized by Ponneri Sub-Collector V R Thandapani and sent to the police. The truck drivers were caught for double crimes – unlicensed movement of sand and dumping on a waterbody – while they were dumping dredged sand in the Ennore creek to create new land for the port.
The truck drivers were caught red-handed by the Sub-Collector along with Ennore fisherfolk and Coastal Resource Centre members, who were jointly inspecting removal of encroachments on the Buckingham canal and creek in preparation for the monsoon.
Taking immediate action, K Stayagopal, commissioner, revenue administration and disaster management, directed Kamarajar Port Limited, North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS), NTECL and Ennore Thermal Power Station (ETPS) to remove encroachments from the creek and Buckingham Canal. The KPL had already been directed to clear a 3-km stretch of Buckingham Canal and encroachments from the mangroves and waterbody made last year.
P Radhakrishnan, general manager, Kamarajar Port Limited said that the sand that is dumped in the creek would be removed next week. “We do have an environment clearance certificate for dredging, but the activists claim that we cannot mine inside the creek. We will clear the issue with the Collector,” he said.