Water bodies and channels destroyed by granite barons have not yet been restored, say farmers

Cases registered last year against granite barons in the district on various criminal charges, including illegal quarrying in government lands and destruction of waterbodies, are being pursued earnestly before various forums, including the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court Bench here, according to Collector L. Subramanian.

The Collector made this statement when N. Palanisamy, president of the Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers Association, raised the issue during a farmers’ grievances meeting at the Collectorate on Friday.

“It is quite some time since we heard anything about the action initiated against the granite firms in Melur taluk. The waterbodies and channels destroyed by them had not yet been restored. The farmers are suffering without water. Almost all government officials who were suspended and subjected to disciplinary actions have joined duty again,” he said.

Replying to the charges, Mr.Subramanian said the granite case would be taken to its logical end as it was being monitored at the Chief Secretary level. “A case related to the issue came before the Madras High Court Bench on November 21 and another case has been listed for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday. We are pursuing the matter with great earnestness,” he said.

He also said the suspended revenue officials had been taken back into service and posted in departments that had nothing to do with mines and minerals. “The government has to pay subsistence allowance to a suspended employee and full salary if the suspension exceeds 90 days. Yet, the government kept most of these officials under suspension for nearly 18 months. Only now they have been reinstated,” he said.

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