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Sand mining in Vaigai: violators to be booked under Goondas Act

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against the law: Sand being lifted in a lorry from a river in Dindigul district.
against the law: Sand being lifted in a lorry from a river in Dindigul district.

Special Correspondent

Cancellation of driving licences to be recommended

MADURAI: Joint teams comprising officials from various departments, including the police, will be formed to check sand mining from the Vaigai river bed.

Following complaints of smuggling of sand using bullock carts at locations such as Melakkal, Mannadimangalam, Sholavandan and Vadipatti in Madurai district, officials swung into action and seized some bullock carts recently.

Collector N. Mathivanan reviewed the action taken by the officials and asked them to be vigiliant and pro-active.

In a bid to step up action, it had been decided to form micro-level teams from Geology and Mines Department, Revenue, TWAD Board, PWD and the Police. In coordination with the RDO (Revenue Divisional Officer) at Madurai and Usilampatti, the Tahsildars at the respective divisions would monitor the progress.

According to the officials who attended the meeting, the Collector has approved the detention of violators under the Goondas Act. “We have been told to seize vehicles and recommend cancellation of the driving licences to the RTO concerned,” a revenue officer said.

Obstruction

A tahsildar said that the smugglers had obstructed the approach way to the river bed by erecting stone pillars in the middle. In some other locations, they had even dug up the approach way. At night, it would be risky to leave the vehicle and walk into the river bed, he said.

A senior officer in the Mines Department said that the drive would be stepped up soon and public could inform the police and revenue officers if they have specific information which would be kept confidential.

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