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Shut All Sand Quarries Within Six Months: Madras HC to Tamil Nadu Govt

The order also stated that the state should take measures to prevent illegal sand mining in Tamil Nadu. The Court felt that it was the state's responsibility to preserve natural resources and environment.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:November 29, 2017, 2:28 PM IST
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Shut All Sand Quarries Within Six Months: Madras HC to Tamil Nadu Govt
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Chennai: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has on Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu Government to stop all sand quarrying activities within six months and ensure that no new sand mines are opened in the future.

The order also stated that the state should take measures to prevent illegal sand mining in Tamil Nadu. The Court felt that it was the state's responsibility to preserve natural resources and environment.

"The respondents shall forthwith issue appropriate directions to the authorities concerned enabling the importers to transport and sell the imported river sand with appropriate directions to the importers to produce all the import related documents and maintain proper records reflecting the quantity imported, sold, stock in hand and other necessary particulars before the Mines and Commercial Taxes Departments respectively, to check evasion of taxes," the order stated.

The court also directed the state to depute a team from the Geological department to identify, process and import sands, minerals from countries which permit export. "The State shall take a decision to import river sand by State-owned Corporation to meet the short-supply of sand within the State if there are no other legal impediments," it added.

While the State Government has not responded, the DMK alleges that the state government will not follow the order, as the AIADMK will incur huge losses. Senior Leader Durai Murugan told News18: “We welcome the court's order but we know for sure that the state government won’t oblige as they will have to suffer huge losses.”

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss claimed his party had earlier moved the Madras High Court on the same issue and said, “We had filed a petition in the court seeking to shut sand quarries and the Court had directed the state government to submit its reply by mid-December. We welcome the High Court's decision and we hope the government considers the order, thus shutting sand mines across Tamil Nadu."

Sources from Tamil Nadu CREDAI, however, say this will have a huge impact on the real estate sector and that they are not happy with the order.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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