Cite severe scarcity and price rise

The Tamil Nadu Sand Lorry Owners Federation has urged the State government to resume operations at the quarries immediately.

“Coming as it does in the wake of the closure of several sand quarries across the State following the orders of the National Green Tribunal and the ban on sand mining in Kancheepuram district, the closure of the 19 functional quarries in Tiruchi, Karur, Thanjavur and Ariyalur districts for the past five days has triggered a severe scarcity and steep price rise,” said Sella Rajamani, president of the federation, addressing a press conference here on Friday. In Chennai, the price of sand increased to Rs.10,000 from Rs.3,500 a unit and in Coimbatore to Rs.5,500 a unit

Construction activity came to a standstill, rendering thousands of construction workers and lorry drivers jobless. Owing to the ban on sand mining in Kancheepuram district, over 15,000 sand lorries from Chennai, Villupuram and Cuddalore districts had to come to quarries in the Tiruchi region. This would clog the Tiruchi-Chennai National Highway as Chennai city alone needed about 8,000 loads of sand for construction work. The system of awarding ‘loading contract’ to private parties at the quarries should be abolished and lorries should be directly loaded by the Public Works Department. Second sales at stockyards should also be abolished, he said.