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Illegal mining went on till 2016 in Tamil Nadu's southern districts: Amicus Curiae

Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanniakumari are the three districts where the AC's report alleged that illegal mining of valuable minerals was being carried unabated.

Published: 13th November 2021 08:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2021 08:12 PM   |  A+A-

Sand mining underway at a riverbed, repersentational image

Mining at a river bed (Representational Photo | EPS)

By PTI

CHENNAI: Illegal mining of minerals, worth several thousand crores of Rupees, went on unnoticed till 2016 in the three southern end coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, the Amicus-Curiae informed the Madras High Court on Friday.

When a batch of public interest writ petitions, revision petitions and writ appeals on the issue came up for further hearing before the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu yesterday, advocate V Suresh, who was appointed as the Amicus Curiae earlier by the court, submitted his report.

Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanniakumari are the three districts where the AC's report alleged that illegal mining of valuable minerals was being carried unabated.

The report stated that raw sand, garnet, ilmenite, rutile, zircon, sillimanite and leucoxene had been extracted in large quantities by the mining operators and a substantial part thereof in a clandestine or unlawful manner, without reporting the same.

The bench also noted that though some of the appearing mining operators objected to the report, it appears that the activity had gone unnoticed over a long period of time and might not have received adequate attention from the State government.

Advocate-General R Shanmugasundaram sought time to deal with the report as filed by Suresh.

The counsel for V V Minerals also prayed for time to object to the report.

The bench said that any individual mining operator seeking to take exception to the report should file his individual counter-affidavit within a week.

"The State will deal with the report, along with the counter-affidavits filed by the individual mining operators, by way of a status report to be filed within three weeks. It will indicate, in particular, the extent of vigilance now exercised in the three southernmost coastal districts, where, according to Suresh, such illegal mining operations continued unabated till the end of 2016. The Pollution Control Board may also file an independent report if it has taken any action in respect of such perceived illegal mining," the bench added and posted the matter for further hearing on December 3.



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