Save Palar Call Hits Collector's Doorstep
VELLORE: Nearly 250 residents, including women, belonging to Madhanur, Thottalam and neighbouring villages, gathered in front of the Collectorate here on Monday, to press for their demand to close the newly inaugurated sand quarries in Palar riverbed near Thottalam and Chinna Thottalam villages.
After the police officials denied the permission to the villagers to enter the Collectorate premises, the villagers sat beneath the flyover on the National Highway 46 for nearly 30 minutes.
They demanded the closure of the quarries opened near their villages. “Palar river is our lifeline. It is the only water source for agriculture here. If sand quarries are opened here, it will be the end of our livelihood,” said a group of women.
The villagers also submitted a petition to the District Revenue Officer K Manivannan during the Public Grievances Day meeting.
“The officials told us that they will look into our demands. So far, we have been staging several protests. But there has been no response yet from the district administration or the PWD,” said A Kumaravel of Madhanur. The protestors also surendered their voter identity cards, as a gesture to register their protestagainst the newly opened quarries.
Following this, revenue divisional officer of Vellore R Pattabiraman, following the direction from his senior officials, met the villagers waiting outside the Collectorate and held talks with them. He assured the villagers that the district administration would take suitable action.
The Joint Secretary of the Madhanur Merchants Association P Gopinath said the villagers have been fighting against the officialdom to stop the quarries. “Till date, we have not been able to stop sand-mining from the designated place for the quarries,” he said.
Even merchants and traders at V C Mottur near Walajapet observed a day-long bandh against the sand quarry in the vicinity of Palar. Nearly 100 shops in and around V C Mottur downed their shutters in support of the protest.