Thoothukudi: In a sudden development, apparently stemming from a procedural mix-up, as many as 14 beach sand mineral godowns of key mining companies including that of ‘V V Minerals’ and ‘BMC’ were raided by eight teams coordinated by the Thoothukudi sub-collector, Deepak Jacob here on Thursday.
This action follows detention of a consignment of 420 tonnes of garnet at the Thoothukudi port on the ground that the transport permit and the quantity permit certificates, to assure that the consignment was from the legal stock for
which the advanced royalty has been paid to the government, was signed by the assistant director of mines, Thoothukudi, instead of the district collector.
Coming to know about this from the assistant commissioner of Thoothukudi port, the district collector conducted an enquiry and suspended the assistant director of mines, Mr. Kishna Mohan, two days ago and ordered massive raids at all the 14 godowns of six mining lease companies, V V Minerals, BMC, IMC, IOGS and Earth rare minerals in the district.
Procedural mix-up leads to raids on beach mineral firms
Eight teams each headed by a tahsildar have been constituted to raid the godowns of the beach sand mineral exporting companies under the coordination of the Thoothukudi sub-collector, Deepak Jacob, who reportedly sealed a warehouse belonging to V V Minerals at Thangammalpuram near Muthaiyapuram in Thoothukudi.
Speaking to DC, the district collector, M Ravikumar, however, said that the godown was double locked as the consignment of the 420 tones booked on March 8 was in the godown.
The collector too added that the inspection was carried out to verify whether the consignment stocked at the godown was legally mined or not.
Reacting to the raids at their godowns, the headquarters manager of V
V Minerals, C Sakthi Ganapathy said that the officials did not ask for
their clarification either before or after the raid.
Moreover, he added that the same taluk level committee conducted a similar inspection on July 24 last year based on the complaint that V V Minerals has allegedly stocked ‘illegally mined mineral sand’ at their godowns in Thoothukudi.
“During that inspection the officials verified out stock registers and checked the mining lease documents and gave a clean chit for our company. To further verify the reports of the taluk level team, a district level team comprising of higher officials including the district police superintendent conducted an inspection on September 2016 and found everything correct,” asserted Mr. Sakthi Ganapathy.
The V V Mineral official further said that they have no malicious intention to export beach minerals as they had properly applied to the district collector for the transport permit and quantity permit certificate.
“We received a letter from district administration signed by the assistant director of mines, which we produced before the customs while we booked for the export of 420 tones of garnet,” added Sakthi Ganapathy in clarifying all doubts about the consignment....