River sand mining suspended in Tiruchi

Sand lorries parked near a quarry at Thiruvalarsolai near Tiruchi.

Sand lorries parked near a quarry at Thiruvalarsolai near Tiruchi.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

Triggers rumours of Income Tax raids at the quarries.

Sand mining in the Coleroon and Cauvery rivers in Tiruchi region remained suspended on Friday, triggering rumours of Income Tax raids at the quarries.

The sand quarry on the Cauvery River at Thiruvalarsolai in the outskirts of Tiruchi wore a deserted look in the afternoon with no activity. Many sand lorries were seen parked in and around the village. Sand reaches in other places in Tiruchi and Karur districts also remained closed.

Residents of Thiruvalarsolai said the quarry in the village was seen functioning in the morning, but operations were stopped at around 10 a.m. on Friday. “The lorries went away all of a sudden and there has been no activity since,” said Chellamuthu, a resident.

There are more than 15 sand quarries in Cauvery and Coleroon rivers in the Tiruchi region of the River Conservation Division of the Public Works Department. Sources said that sales at the stock yards, where the sand mined from the rivers are stored and sold, also remained suspended. Hundreds of trucks transport the sand purchased from the stockyards to various places round-the-clock.

Senior PWD officials parried questions and said they would get back after checking. One of the officials maintained that the sand quarries were closed due to the seven-day State mourning following the demise of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

However, sources said that the sand quarries had remained closed for a couple of days after the demise of Jayalalithaa, but quarrying went on Thursday though there was not much movement of lorries. The two-year contract period for mining was also said to have expired in a few cases. Sand lorry operators confirmed that the quarries functioned on Thursday. “We were asked to take away our vehicles on Friday morning,” a sand lorry operator said.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 2:49:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/River-sand-mining-suspended-in-Tiruchi/article16788623.ece

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