Madras HC appoints advocate commissioner to probe govt violations in quarrying
According to the petition, the Vilathikulam and Ettayapuram taluks in Thoothukudi are dry regions where residents struggle to get water for drinking and irrigation.
Published: 01st October 2022 04:25 AM | Last Updated: 01st October 2022 04:25 AM | A+A A-
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Friday appointed an advocate commissioner to inquire and file a report on the alleged violations by the State government in carrying out quarry activities in Vaippar river at Thoothukudi.
A Bench comprising Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad gave the direction on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by A Rameshkumar alleging that the authorities are excavating sand more than the permitted level. The case was adjourned to October 14.
According to the petition, the Vilathikulam and Ettayapuram taluks in Thoothukudi are dry regions where residents struggle to get water for drinking and irrigation. But on August 1, 2022, Thoothukudi district collector granted permission to quarry sand from Vaippar river bed in Marthandampatti village at Vilathikulam, despite objections by the villagers that the quarry operations would affect river flow and the ground water level. Though permission was granted to excavate sand only up to one metre depth, quarrying is being done for nearly 10 metres by using around 10 hydraulic excavators instead of two, he alleged.
The authorities have destroyed the banks of the river for more than 100 metres, he claimed and sought direction to quash the quarry license granted by the collector. The allegations were denied by the government, following which the court appointed an advocate commissioner to inquire into the matter.