The expert panel appointed by the State government, headed by Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Secretary, Revenue Department, began its inspection of sand units belonging to V V Minerals here on Monday.
Six teams started their inspection in six units run by V V Minerals at Vembar, Vaipar, Manapadu, Madhavankurichi, Periyathalai and Padukapatthu. The heads of the team were in the ranks of Deputy Collector and there were three other members from revenue department, mines department and an environment engineer from pollution control board in each team. The entire process of inspection was being videographed.
Tallking to presspersons on his arrival here, Bedi said that the team would inspect the units on August 12,13,14, 20 and 22 and if needed they would conduct another round of inspection.
Besides the committee would also gather information and ascertain the opinions of local residents and fishermen of the area which would also form part of the report, Bedi added.
He exuded confidence that the panel would complete its inspection and submit its report to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, within the stipulated time of one month.
Based on complaints from fishermen about largescale sand mining violations on August 6, the former Collector, Ashish Kumar, ordered an inspection of the units operated by VV Minerals in the district by officials from revenue, mines, police departments and pollution control board.
The team after inspection in its report to the Collector confirmed that the unit was committing several violations and was taking out minerals at the said units.
Citing the team’s report, the Collector, who met the press the on August 7, informed that 2,30,000 metric tonnes of minerals were mined illegally by the units of V V Minerals. Based on the Collector’s report the state government formed a panel under the chairmanship of Gagandeep Singh Bedi. V.V.Minerals had several sand units across the coastal areas of Thoothukudi district and was involved in mining minerals and semi-precious stones like garnet and ilmenite.