‘Units continuing operation in residential localities despite Supreme Court orders’

The National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, on Friday ordered notices to the State government and other authorities to file replies on a resident welfare association’s application for closure of illegal stone crushing units operating in residential localities in Pammal and Anakaputhur areas of Tambaram taluk, Kancheepuram district.

The Bench comprising its judicial member Justice M.Chockalingam and expert member Prof. R.Nagendran also ordered notices to the District Collector, Kancheepuram, and Executive Officers of Pammal and Anakaputhur municipalities on an application filed by Pammal Sri Sankara Nagar Nalavazhvu Sangam.

The welfare association said illegal stone crushing units were continuing their operation in residential localities despite the 1996 orders of the Supreme Court and norms formulated by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) on the location of stone crushing industries.

“The residents in the locality are put to untold misery and hardship, including grave health hazards, due to uncontrolled emanation of dust and smoke from such illicit stone-crushing activities, in addition to the adverse impact on the environment”, residents added.

The applicant also said the District Collector removed the stone quarry in Senghazuneermalai hill in Pammal from the revenue records on the grounds that it is within a distance of 150 metres from residential premises, schools and hospitals. The authorities ought to consider representations of the residents requesting to order the closure of such illegal units.

As the repeated efforts did not yield any results, the residents filed the application seeking action on their representations and a direction to the authorities to close the units.

The matter was posted for further hearing on April 25.