Supreme Court ruling on sand mining boosts builders’ optimism
The interim stay on Madras High Court  ban on sand mining by the Supreme Court has given a boost to the construction industry, sand lorry owners and drivers. However, the move has not gone down well with farmers and environmentalists…

The interim stay on Madras High Court  ban on sand mining by the Supreme Court has given a boost to the construction industry, sand lorry owners and drivers. However, the move has not gone down well with farmers and environmentalists in the region, newspapers have reported.

Farmers see the interim stay as an unfortunate decision not in the interest of the environment. “Rampant illegal sand mining over the years has collapsed the ecology in Tamil Nadu,” Ayilai Siva Suriyan, District Secretary of Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam.

He said the ban by the Madras high court gave   a ray of hope to protect the Cauvery and Kollidam rivers. “The SC order without considering the drought and ground water depletion has added insult to our injury,” said

Lorry owners who had threatened to protest against the state government over the closure of sand quarries heaved a sigh of relief, but they expected the apex court to lay down stringent rules to regulate the sand mining.

Builders Association of India (BAI), whose construction business was hit owing to scarcity of sand, expressed satisfaction while insisting on crackdown on sand being smuggled to neighbouring states.

“The stay on the ban may lead to reopening of quarries and free flow of sand. The government should ensure that the sand should not be smuggled to other states like Kerala via Coimbatore. Manual sand mining instead of machineries will help sustain the natural resource,” said C Kumaravelu, former Chairman of BAI, Trichy chapter.

Before the ban, sand quarries had been functioning at 11 places in the district – M Pudhur, Manamedu, Seeplapudhur, Kariamanickam, Thiruvasi Kiliyanallur, Kondayampettai, Sirugamani, Panayakurichi, Viragalur and Aalambadi.

Out of the 11 quarries, five  were situated in the Cauvery River while the remaining six were located in Kollidam River.

(ends)

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