Seek preference for locals in loading sand from Edayattrumangalam quarry
A section of residents of Uthamarseeli village staged a blockade of lorries engaged in transporting sand from the quarry at Edayattrumangalam on the Coleroon river, in the outskirts of the city on Friday, demanding preference for local lorries in loading sand at the quarry.
The villagers also protested, alleging mining of sand during night hours and the continuous operation of lorries along the Coleroon river bunds, which they said affected agricultural operations. The demand for according preference for local lorries has been a persistent one among the villagers for over a year now.
The Public Works Department follows a token system under which lorries are loaded under a queue system.
The locals claim that since the quarry was situated in their locality, they had a right to be accorded preference. Under the queue system, they do not get adequate loads, they contend.
With the sand quarries on Uthamarseeli and Killikoodu being closed in recent months, the villagers were demanding that local lorries be accorded preference in loading from the Edayattrumangalam quarry.
On Friday, the villagers created road blocks on the road running along the Coleroon river disrupting movement of sand lorries to and from the quarry. The villagers also sat on the road and even had their food cooked at the spot. A strong contingent of police was deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident. Police, Revenue and Public Works Department held talks with the villagers and the agitation was withdrawn at around 4 p.m.
PWD officials said they had to follow a system and it would not be possible to allow the lorries to jump the queue.
Sand loading operation at the Edayattrumangalam quarry was disrupted until the agitation was withdrawn.