Trenches dug to prevent access for sand smugglers
Even as sand mining at the approved reaches along the Cauvery and Coleroon Rivers in Tiruchi and Karur districts remain suspended for about a week now, officials of the Public Works Department on Friday initiated steps to prevent illegal sand mining using bullock carts along the Cauvery river bed in Tiruchi district.
According to sources in the department, approaches into the river bed in Musiri and Thottiyam taluks were being cut off to prevent entry of bullock carts.
Sand mining in small quantities using bullock carts was rampant during the nights in places such as Unniyur, Periapallipalayam, Chinnapallipalayam, Musiri, Vellur, Sriramasamudram, Ayyalur and other villages in the two taluks.
The modus operandi of the smugglers was to transport the sand from the river bed to the villages where they are stocked in small mounds. The accumulated sand was resold and transported using lorries from the villages.
In a crackdown on the racket, PWD officials used men and machines on Friday to dig up huge trenches to prevent access for bullock carts into the river in places where such smuggling was reported.
Sand mining on the approved reaches along the Cauvery and Coleroon rivers had come to a halt since May 13, even as the AIADMK was voted to power in the State.