NEW DELHI: Giving relief to sand quarries in Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on Monday issued an interim stay on the Madras High Court’s order that had directed shutting of all sand quarries across the state in six months.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta stayed the High Court order on a special leave petition filed by Tamil Nadu challenging the order.
The High Court had directed the State government to close all the quarries of granites and other minerals in order to maintain ecological balance and also directed that no new quarries should be opened.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi, who appeared for the Tamil Nadu government, told the bench that the construction activities in the state would get affected if quarries were shut down because of the absence of sand, which is a basic raw material.
The high court in its order ruled that in order to meet the need for sand for constructing buildings, the state could permit import of river sand from foreign countries and permit its sale here with relevant documents.
The court had also issued directions to keep a strict vigil on illegal sand mining by establishing permanent check posts and installing CCTV cameras at those check posts.