Meeting discusses measures to make sand available for construction work

Even while directing District Collectors and all departments to ensure that sand quarrying is permitted in a manner that protects the environment, the State government on Saturday decided to promote the use of manufactured sand (M Sand), widely acknowledged to be an alternative to river sand.

M Sand is a product obtained by crushing rocks to a consistency, enabling its use in construction work.

Approval will be given for establishment of production units of M Sand and the existing crushing units will be allowed immediately to produce it. If required, the units can take loans through the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and attended by senior Ministers and officials. Held in the light of the order of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on sand quarrying in the Cauvery-Coleroon riverbeds, the meeting discussed in depth measures to implement the order and facilitate smooth availability of sand for construction works.

To overcome the shortage of sand, efforts will be made to identify new quarries and approach the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority to secure its nod.

The District Collectors should take action to prevent sand quarrying from unauthorised sites and make available sand for construction works.

All these steps will enable people getting sand at low prices without hassles, a press release issued by the Chief Minister stated.

Buildings inaugurated

Ms. Jayalalithaa opened, through videoconferencing, a host of buildings in different parts of the State, housing electricity substations, fair price shops, educational institutions and administrative offices.

Four upgraded substations, two of which are in Tiruchi district and one each in Tiruvarur and Dharmapuri districts, and three new substations, one each in Tiruvallur, Theni and Thanjavur districts, were commissioned. One of the two upgraded stations in Tiruchi is in Srirangam and another in Pettavaithalai, while the other two upgraded stations are in Ullikottai of Tiruvarur district and Pappireddipatti of Dharmapuri. The new stations are located in Athipattu (Tiruvallur district), Kullappagaudanpettai (Theni) and Karampayam (Thanjavur). The total cost of the seven substations was Rs. 94.49 crore.

Eleven constituent arts and science colleges have been opened, one each in Edapadi (Salem district), Kanyakumari (Kanyakumari), Vedasandur (Dindigul), Modakurichi (Erode), (Thirumangalam (Madurai), Thiruvottiyur (Tiruvallur), Paramakudi (Ramanathapuram), Kadayanallur (Tirunelveli), Aruppukottai (Virudhunagar), Nagapattinam (Nagpattinam) and Arakkonam (Vellore).

The Chief Minister inaugurated seven buildings of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS). She laid the foundation stone for several new buildings, estimated to cost about Rs. 3.86 crore. The seven buildings came up at a total cost of around Rs. 1.65 crore.

She also opened the Madurai Bench of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, office of assistant commissioner of the Chennai North — Ambattur zone of the Civil Supplies department and buildings for four fair price shops in Taramani here.

While the Madurai Bench of the Commission will result in immediate redress of complaints of people in 13 southern districts, the Ambattur zone office will be of benefit to nearly two lakh families. The fair price shops in Taramani have been fitted with solar lights.