"What prevented then Collectors from not initiating action"

Expressing satisfaction over good progress in the probe, farmers at the grievance redress meeting here on Friday appealed to the State government to be more stringent in arresting all the accused and not just a few officials in the mammoth granite scam.

Collector Anshul Mishra chaired the meeting. The farmers said that it was not enough just to name a few IAS officers behind the granite scam. The government should book many more beneficiaries who had ruined not only natural resources by conniving with the granite quarry owners but also amassed huge money through corrupt means.

Speaker after speaker in a vociferous tone asked, “what prevented the then Collectors who had served between 1993 and 2011 from not initiating any action against the granite quarry operators…” But for searches and raids being conducted now and the then Collector U. Sagayam’s 13-page report on the irregularities in the granite industry, officials had remained silent for almost two decades.

The government should arrest all those responsible for the loot and punish them. At least now natural resources had been saved from more plunder. All the destroyed tanks and other water bodies must be restored.

Erring granite polishing units on the Sivaganga Road must also be brought to book as they let out industrial effluents into agricultural fields.

Since many farmers raised the granite scam topic, Mr. Mishra asked them to submit their complaints in writing and assured action on them.

With elections scheduled for cooperative societies, the farmers complained of impersonation and non-availability of forms to members. The Collector asked the officials from the Cooperatives Department to ensure transparency.

Citing monsoon failure, the farmers appealed to the Collector to get them financial relief from the State government. There is a slim chance of all farmers getting water for irrigation this season. With time running out, they urged the government to declare Madurai as drought-hit district. However, the Collector wanted specific representations in writing from the farmers’ associations for action.

Special Deputy Collector Arumuga Nainar, PA to Collector Jayasingh Gnanadurai, PRO Selvaraj, AD (panchayat) Sugumaran, and TAHDCO Manager Gopalan were present.

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