While demanding stringent measures to put an end to illegal sand quarrying in the State, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Sunday urged the State government to grant Rs. 10 lakh compensation to the family members of a woman who was killed when a sand-laden lorry hit her two-wheeler in Karur district.
In a statement here, she said natural resources were being ravaged because of illegal sand quarrying and granite mining. All rules had been thrown to the wind and government sand quarries were functioning even on Sundays, she said. Recalling the accident in which 34-year-old Kalyani was killed on the spot on October 31, when a sand-laden lorry hit her two-wheeler near the Puliyur cement factory, Ms. Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu was witnessing similar accidents due to illegal sand quarrying.
“The future of her [the woman's] 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old visually challenged daughter remain uncertain. The government should give her husband a job, besides releasing Rs 10 lakh as solatium,” she said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said Kalyani's death sparked a protest in Karur and AIADMK MP M. Thambidurai and V. Senthil Balaji, the party's Karur district secretary took part.
“Though they gave up the protest after the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police promised to take action, sand lorries started plying on the road in an hour. Mr. Thambidurai and Mr. Balaji captured 10 lorries and handed over them to the police,” she said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said sand quarrying had depleted the groundwater situation in Karur and various drinking water schemes implemented during her regime had been severely affected.
Recalling the High Court order restraining sand quarrying in Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli, Ms Jayalalithaa said the judgment remained a testimony to the unrestrained sand quarrying that was going on in the State in the last four-and-half years.
Accusing Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi of doing nothing to prevent sand quarrying, she said, “Time is fast approaching to find a permanent solution to illegal sand quarrying.”