Revenue Department’s drive following complaints from eco forums

The Revenue Department has resumed its drive against illegal mining and transportation of minor minerals including laterite, gravel, clay, and sand. The drive is being resumed in the wake of complaints from environmental organisations and action councils formed against the illegal mining activities.

Revenue officials at the village and taluk-level have been asked to report instances of illegal mining and transportation of minerals, flouting the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act, 1957.

A district-level squad under Sub Collector Himanshukumar Rai will coordinate the enforcement activity as per the direction of the District Collector. Vehicles transporting minor minerals will be checked by revenue squads. Licences of the mining agent and the vehicle owner will be checked and strict action initiated in the event of irregularities. The squad will inspect mining points in the district.

Action initiated

The drive has already exposed violations. Action has been initiated against owners of goods vehicles taken into custody. Revenue officials say a fine up to Rs.25,000 will be slapped on them. Vehicle checking will be intensified in the weeks to come.

During the monsoon season, the Revenue Department had imposed a three-month ban on quarrying and sand-mining. It had put a stop to quarrying in hilly areas of Kodanchery, Thiruvambadi, Nellipoyil, Kanthalad, Tinur, Vilangad, Maruthongara, and Kavilumpara. The ban was lifted later.

Heavy vehicle owners operating in the sector have protested against the Revenue Department’s action. “We will take out a march to the Collectorate on October 29,” they say.

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