New Site coming up at

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sand mining in Vaipar river stayed

he Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has stayed sand mining in the Vaipar river near Atrangarai village in Tuticorin district after admitting a PIL filed on behalf of the people of nearby Kalkuzhi village.

A Division Bench comprising Justice P K Mishra and Justice K Venkataraman, which stayed the sand mining for a week, ordered the Tuticorin district collector to reply within a week to the allegations raised in the PIL.

The petitioner, K Velappan, a retired Highways engineer, submitted that illegal mining was being done on a large scale on the Vaipar river bed near the check-dam, even though it was banned under the Tamil Nadu Minor Minerals Mining Rules.

Besides, the Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board had sunk borewells near the point. "As per rules, mining should not be done within a radius of 500 metres from borewell or dam." Near the dam, there were eight wells which provided water to those living along the banks of the river.

The river also received water only during the rainy season when the wells were recharged. If the sand was removed, the wells would go dry. Following the public demand, the Kovilpatti tahsildar had promised that mining would not be done.

The district collector had told the people of Kalkuzhi that mining was being done to help free flow of water to Melmanthai village. But Melmanthai people denied that they had given any complaint about water inflow and said they had only asked the collector to desilt a small irrigation channel branching away from the river, the petitioner contended.

Source: Chennai Online

No comments: