CHENNAI: A PIL has been filed in the Madras High Court for a directive to the government to close down all sand quarries across the State to save the rivers, water bodies and thereby farmers and consequently use alternative to sand in all construction activities related to government projects.
The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, before which the petition from PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss came up for hearing, directed the State government to file its counter affidavit within three weeks and rejoinder if any, within one week thereafter.
Anbumani also sought a directive to the government to take appropriate action against illegal and unlawful mining activities in the State by setting up an expert committee under the guidance of a retired judge of SC or HC to identify the lapses that had occurred from October 2003 onwards to eliminate the scope of middlemen in sand mining activities and strengthen PWD.
According to petitioner, the sand mining policy and nationalisation of quarrying activities undertaken by the government from October 2003, appeared to be a progressive measure in the right direction to generate more revenue and to invest the additional revenue so realised in more developmental activities and to ensure adequate and steady supply of sand to various infrastructure projects and housing activities in the State. But it turned out to be a sinister design born out of conspiracy.