Chennai: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday held detailed discussions with senior Ministers and top officials in the wake of reports about illegal granite quarrying in the State resulting in loss of several crores of rupees to the government. Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, Industries Minister P Thangamani, Electricity Minister R Viswanathan, Municipal Administration Minister KP Munusamy and Housing Minister R Vaithilingam, Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, Industries Secretary N Sundaradevan, DGP K Ramanujam and Advocate General A Navaneethakrishnan took part in the hour-long meeting.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister is understood to have taken stock of complaints against the illegal granite quarries, the ongoing raids of officials in quarries and the ways to regulate the multi-crore granite business. Jayalalithaa also reportedly discussed about the possibilities of taking over the granite business by the government as was done in the case of sand quarrying.
The State government launched a massive crackdown on illegal granite quarrying business after former Madurai District Collector U Sagayam submitted a report stating that the State Exchequer had suffered a whopping loss of over Rs 16,000 crore due to illegal quarrying.
At present, more than 175 granite firms are under government scanner. As part of the crackdown, the Madurai district administration sealed the premises of P R P Granites Exports Company in Melur on charges of violating quarrying norms, on August 9.