VELLORE: Farmers demanded that the district administration adhere to orders of the Apex Court and the State government, to protect the Palar riverbed from sand mafias during the farmers’ grievance meet on Friday.
As per government order and rules, sand should not be excavated from more three feet under the riverbed and heavy machineries should not be used for mining activities. However, the contractors had mined sand 40 feet deep from the riverbed near Walajapet, Thiruparkadal, Sathampakkam, Pundi and Sennasamuthiram. “We conducted a field visit and measured the mining area. We are shocked to see that the contractors had plundered the sand for 40 to 50 feet,” said assistant secretary of Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association L C Mani, a native of Lalapet.
Farmers from Thottalam and neighbouring villages also objected to mining sand beyond the permissible level. “The sand has been transported without a proper bill. The contractors are mining the sand before 6 am, which is against the rules,” said a farmer from Madhanur block. “They even excavate sand in and around 56 wells and six high tension lines towers,” he said. The PWD, revenue department, regional transport office officials and the police had failed to take action, he said.
The farmers demanded the district administration to send a clear report to the State and help them to get drought assistance for coconut growers. They also pleaded with the Collector to take action against glue factories. The Collector said that six flying squads had been constituted, to check the tanneries and glue factories.
On wild boar and monkey menace, the farmers requested the forest department to take swift action.