Chennai: The State government is taking steps to revive about 1,099 granite quarries in Tamil Nadu that were closed following the Supreme Court order, Law, Mines & Minerals Minister C. Ve. Shanmugam informed the Assembly on Thursday.
Refuting a charge by the DMK member P. N. P. Inbasekaran that the quarries were closed, as the State did not formulate a policy, Mr. Shanmugam said the quarries were ordered to be closed by Supreme Court order as they failed to get environmental clearance. “Quarries were ordered to be closed throughout the country. This problem is not specific to Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Maintaining that the State government has been taking steps to resume the quarries, Mr. Shanmugam said he had even been to New Delhi based on the advise of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to prevail upon the centre to facilitate the resumption of the granite quarries.
“Permission would be given soon to restart 1,099 quarries,” he said and added that the quarries in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri have not been auctioned since 1993. The Chief Minister has ordered auction of quarry sites even on government poromboke lands in a month’s time,” the Minister said.
Recently, the Centre had revoked its Environmental Impact Assessment Notification and thus allowed State governments to give environmental clearance for quarries that were already in operation. The Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change had issued the notification in 2016 making it mandatory that the quarries in operation too got environmental clearance from the Centre....