The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday constituted a committee to look into the illegal sand mining from the Cooum river close to the Marina in Chennai.
Meanwhile, Sandeep Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary to the State Government, Public Works Department, remained unavailable for a comment.
Apart from targeting the riverbeds in the district, the mafia were reportedly extracting sand illegally from Balighai on the Puri-Konark marine drive road, said sources.
Along with the cops, three officers of the Mining Department and three officers of the Transport Department are also suspended.
Wildlife movement is getting hampered but since it belongs to a leader on private area, we are helpless.
Sixteen other drivers were held in similar operations during last week while vehicle owners had to cough up fine for the illegal activity.
Five-member joint committee constituted by NGT southern bench gives clean chit to PWD