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Updated: August 2, 2012 15:04 IST

18 teams asked to survey 175 granite quarries

L. Srikrishna
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The Hindu

I will personally monitor the survey: Collector Anshul Mishra

Deploying 18 teams, comprising senior Deputy Collectors and other revenue officials, the Madurai district administration plans to survey all the 175 granite quarries from Thursday, District Collector Anshul Mishra said on Wednesday.

Following a large number of complaints of violation of rules and deviations in procedures as per the Mines Act, there were allegations of huge revenue loss to the exchequer.

During his tenure former Collector U. Sagayam had directed the officials to gather details of alleged violations. However, the work did not proceed. According to reliable sources in the Mining Department, Mr. Sagayam had reported his findings to the government.

Soon after assuming office, Mr. Mishra told reporters that he would look into the allegations referred in quarry mining and take action as per law.

A senior official in the Revenue Department said that after the selection of candidates for noon-meal worker posts, which had won plaudits from the public for transparency and lack of political intervention, Mr. Mishra planned a comprehensive survey of granite quarries sometime in August.

The issue has come back under focus following the publication of Mr. Sagayam’s findings in some media reports on Wednesday.

There are three specific findings in Mr. Sagayam’s report submitted to the government, which include encroachment of water bodies by a private granite business house.

Though the officials had evicted the encroachers, they had not issued notice to the granite operator. In another case, a political leader’s son, whose name figured as a partner in a private firm too, had violated the norms, the official added.

A senior official in the Mines Department said notices had been to the granite quarry operators and some among them had approached the court, which had granted interim relief.

When contacted, Mr. Mishra told The Hindu that a comprehensive survey of all the lessees in granite quarries would begin on Thursday. “I will personally monitor the survey. In the event of any violations, we will initiate action as per law,” he said.

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