CHENNAI: Pointing out that illegal sand mining has been reduced to a great extent after the government headed by her assumed office in May 2011, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday handed out a stern warning to those involved in the activity. “My government, at no point of time, will allow anti-socials to exploit river basins which are nature’s boon for agriculture and drinking water requirements. Whatever be their status, the government will deal with those involved in illegal sand mining with an iron hand”, the CM said in a statement here. Jayalalithaa said that after she took over as the Chief Minister for the third time, she had directed District Administrations to take stringent action against those involved in illegal sand mining and its transportation.
During the past one year, as many as 4,173 cases were filed against illegal sand mining and 5,033 people arrested. A fine of Rs 14 crore has been collected from them. Besides, 12 persons have been arrested under the Preventive Detention Act. In all, the revenue from sand mining which stood at just Rs 120 crore per year during the DMK regime, had gone up to Rs 197 crore during the past one year. “This proves that illegal sand mining has been controlled effectively in the State”, Jayalalithaa added.