CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Krishnagiri District Collector not to issue the lease deed for quarrying blue metal from the government land in Kammandoddi village.
A division bench of Justices S Manikumar and V Bhavani Subbaroyan gave the direction while admitting a PIL petition seeking to quash a tender notification issued by the Collector inviting applications for grant of lease of government land for quarrying blue metal.The bench adjourned further hearing on the PIL from Jayashankar Abbaiah to February 16.
Directing the Krishnagiri Collector and the Hosur Forest Officer to file a detailed counter, the bench, however, said that the process of obtaining necessary certificates might go on, but the lease deed shall not be issued.
According to petitioner, the notification calling for applications for grant of lease of government land for quarrying blue metal, insofar as it relates to the land in Kammandoddi, which is located close to the Sanamavu reserve forest and part of the elephant corridor, should not be permitted. Numerous large-scale mining operations have been permitted in the district and this has resulted in fragmentation of the landscape, which is resulting in destruction of critical elephant habitat and resulting in man-elephant conflict.
The Collector on June 22, 2015, addressed a letter to the District Environmental Engineer and the Pollution Control Board, recording the objections of the District Forest Officer (DFO), Hosur, which elaborated the impact of stone quarries operating in the elephant corridor
Impact on environment
The DFO stated that the reason for elephants straying into human habitation and for increased incidents of attacks was mushrooming of stone quarries and use of explosives, transport and other attendant issues. Numerous large-scale mining operations were permitted in the district and this has resulted in fragmentation of the landscape, resulting in destruction habitat