The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday passed an interim order restraining use of more than two earth movers in sand quarrying sites in Tiruchi and Karur districts.

A Division Bench comprising Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by M. Rajendran, a Tiruchi-based advocate.

Mr. Rajendran alleged in his petition that quarrying activities were carried out in the sand quarries in violation of an order passed by the High Court Bench on August 3, 2012 in which restrictions were imposed against use of more than two machines in the quarries.

According to him, at least 20 sand quarries in Tiruchi and Karur districts violated the order of the High Court and used as many as 15 machines for quarrying. Besides, as against the High Court directive, which allowed quarrying to a depth of one metre, quarrying activities were extended to a depth of 20 feet, he claimed.

Illegal quarrying of sand should be controlled and use of heavy machinery regulated to safeguard the ecology, Mr. Rajendran said. Therefore, he pleaded with the court to ban use of heavy machinery in the rivers and prayed for a direction to the Tiruchi and Karur District Collectors and the Executive Engineer of Public Works Department, Tiruchi, to revoke the permission granted for use of earth movers machines in the sand quarries.

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