HC dismisses plea against quarrying notification

Taking into account the fact that crushed stones were an alternative source available to the construction industry, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has dismissed a petition that challenged the notification issued by the Dindigul Collector calling for tenders for granting the rough stone quarry lease in Mallanampatti village in Nilakottai taluk of Dindigul district.

The court was hearing a petition filed by A. Mary of Dindigul district. The petitioner said that quarrying would affect agricultural lands and the residential areas nearby. The proposed quarry site was within 300 metres of residential houses. The decision to grant lease for quarrying was taken in contravention of public interest, she said.

However, the State government submitted that the stone quarry in government poramboke in the Nilakottai taluk was one of the oldest in the area and was functioning for the past 40 years. It was catering to the needs of the local residents and government projects. Also, lands surrounding the government poramboke were rugged and unfit for cultivation, it was submitted.

Justice J. Nisha Banu took note of the fact that the petition had become infructuous as there was a subsequent notification. So the notification that was challenged had become outdated. It was said that there were about 29 residences within a 300-metre radius of the quarry site. But there was no seal or signature as to vouch it.

At the same time, a report was submitted to the Collector, stating that no permanent structures were present within a radius of 50 metres from the quarry site and there were no habitations or approved layouts within 300 metres from the quarry site. The petitioner did not appear before the Collector for a personal hearing, the judge observed.

The judge also observed that quarrying of river sand remains banned. So crushed stones were the alternative source for the construction industry. The rough stone quarry site was in operation for about 40 years and was the main source for the construction industry in Nilakottai taluk. Therefore, the public interest at large must be taken into account, the judge said and dismissed the petition.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 4:04:10 PM |

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