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Updated: August 23, 2013 15:32 IST

Tuticorin Bishop seeks arrest of illegal sand miners

Staff Reporter
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Tuticorin R C Bishop Yvon Ambrose,Right, Speaking to media personnel for V.V.Garnet sand issue. Photo : N.Rajesh
THE HINDU Tuticorin R C Bishop Yvon Ambrose,Right, Speaking to media personnel for V.V.Garnet sand issue. Photo : N.Rajesh

He said the government should implement the National Green Tribunal’s directive issued on August 14 on the imposition of ban on beach sand mining.

Bishop of Tuticorin Roman Catholic Diocese Rev. Fr. Yvon Ambrose urged the state government to inspect the coastline along Tirunelveli, where, he said, large-scale illegal beach sand operation had been going on. He said it was rampant in Kanyakumari as well.

He said the government should implement the National Green Tribunal’s directive issued on August 14 on the imposition of ban on beach sand mining.

Addressing a press conference at Tuticorin Bishop House here on Thursday, the Bishop appealed to the government to arrest illegal miners, whom, he said, had been indulging in such illegal activities for 20 years.

Besides, the licences of erring beach sand mining companies should be cancelled permanently and large quantities of mined mineral sand stocked in godowns here should be seized and brought under the control of government.

Moreover, the government should freeze assets of the erring miners. The law-enforcing agencies, which “ignored the illegal beach sand mining and failed to act tough on the offenders,” should be enquired and punished, the Bishop said.

Since such activities had been ignored for long, the livelihood of fishermen was at stake, he claimed.

Due to extraction of minerals from the beach sand, many fishermen and their children had been exposed to radiation, which led to kidney failure, cancer and skin disease. The special team constituted by the government should not be cowed down by politicians.

The suggestions of officials of the Fisheries Department and representatives of fishermen’s associations should be taken into consideration to study the adverse impact of illegal beach mining, the Bishop said.

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