PIL seeks halt in sand quarrying plan

Government launched sand quarrying on the Araniyar river in Tiruvallur district
Chennai: The southern bench of the national green tribunal ordered notice to the authorities on a PIL seeking a direction to halt the government’s move to launch sand quarrying on the Araniyar river in Tiruvallur district.
When the petition from M. Tamilselvan of Uthukkottai, Tiruvallur district, came up for hearing before a bench comprising judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member R. Nagendran, it ordered notice to the authorities returnable by October 10.
Counsel for the petitioner N. Vijayakumar submitted that the state-level environment impact assessment authority (SEIAA), accorded environmental clearance on August 11, 2014 to the PWD for quarrying 46,200 cubic metres of sand from the Araniyar in Uthukottai village. Mining approval was accorded by the assistant director, geology and mining, Tiruvallur district, as per a communication from the collector. He said the proposed sand quarrying would be carried out on the riverbed, situated between a causeway which was set up in 1928 and the Krishna water anaicut.
It would also affect drinking water supply to people in 16 villages and a 700-year old Lord Pallikondeswarar temple situated near the site. The move would also pose a threat to the groundwater table, ecology and farming activities in the region. Pursuant to the approval, the collector had recently commenced preliminary work to launch the sand quarry.
Vijayakumar contended that the SEIAA granted permission without applying its mind and without considering the ground reality. He prayed that the tribunal cancel the environmental clearance given to the quarry.
( Source : dc )
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