Team of geologists finds no major violation in operations of Thoothukudi quarries in TN

Two stone quarries at Saminatham and Sathankulam have also been recommended for cancellation of their deeds after an FIR was registered against them over alleged violations.

Published: 07th July 2023 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th July 2023 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

Stone quarry accident at Adaimithipankulam in Tirunelveli district. (Photo | V Karthikalagu, EPS)

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

THOOTHUKUDI: The team of geologists constituted by the state government to examine operations at stone quarries in Thoothukudi observed no major violation during its 45-day inspection. However, 11 lorries were seized for transporting minerals without valid transit passes.

The mines and minerals department is the third biggest revenue source for the state exchequer, on account of its seigniorage fee. Thoothukudi district houses as many as 48 stone quarries and 39 authorised crusher units that supply raw materials like rough stones, gravels, stones, jellies, and M-sand for the construction industry.

According to official sources, the government had prematurely terminated three lease licenses over the past year to prevent mining violations. Moreover, operations of two quarries each at Therku Karacheri and Ettayapuram, and one at Meenatchipatti, were suspended following violations reported in the past six months. Two stone quarries at Saminatham and Sathankulam have also been recommended for cancellation of their deeds after an FIR was registered against them over alleged violations.

"The Sathankulam quarry has been black-marked for duplicating permit passes using fake facsimile, a bogus hologram from Sivakasi, and illicit rubber stamps during this June," the official noted.

Besides, licenses for three stone quarries have been cancelled prematurely owing to various issues. A year ago, the mines department cancelled the license of a stone quarry operated at Srivaikuntam after the survey numbers of the quarry were mentioned in a Supreme Court judgment related to the Pearl Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL) land scam. The department had also issued a warning to two stone quarries functioning at Kayathar, said official sources.

The team headed by Geology and Mining Joint Director Saravanan inspected the quarries and their transit between May 2 and June 16. When asked, Geology and Mining Assistant Director Suatha Rahim told TNIE that strict actions are being taken in a speedy manner whenever violations are brought to the department's notice. The operations of stone quarries are under constant watch after the tragedy happened at Adaimithipankulam near Munneerpallam in Tirunelveli district, she said.

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