Madurai

Plea to stop illicit sand mining in cultivable lands

Farmers also demand action against officials ‘helping’ a sand miner

THOOTHUKUDI

Urging Collector Sandeep Nanduri to take immediate steps to stop illegal sand mining in cultivable lands in Perur area near Srivaikundam, a group of farmers submitted a petition to him during the weekly grievance redressal meeting held at the Collectorate on Monday.

The farmers said agriculturists having cultivable lands to an extent of 1,400 acres under Marudhur Keezhakal, Srivaikundam Kaspa and Perur Kaspa had been cultivating water-intensive crops such as paddy, plantain and sugarcane for several decades. Since these lands had river sand suitable for construction at a depth of six feet, an individual from Sivaramamangalam had been quarrying sand illegally with the help of officials over the past several months, despite repeated complaints.

Since sand mining would seriously affect farming operations on 1,400 acres and groundwater would go down alarmingly, the Collector should take immediate action against the illicit sand miner and the officials, who were supporting this illegal activity that would trigger serious law and order issues in the region.

A group of people from Kattunaickar community submitted a petition to the Collector seeking community certificate to their children, who could not join colleges after passing Plus Two. The petitioners said children of 35 Kattunaickar community families living in Anna Nagar, Ramdas Nagar, Gandhi Nagar and Kamaraj Nagar West could not continue their studies as revenue officials refused to give them community certificates.

While Kattunaickar community children had been given ‘Scheduled Tribe’ certificate in a few districts, the officials in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts refused to give the certificate recognising them as ST. Since they were still following the lifestyle and culture of tribals, they should be recognised as ST through the community certificate, they said.

A group of people from A. Kuppanapuram under Kayathar union complained that officials had misappropriated funds to the tune of ₹30 lakh in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by creating fake identity cards and other records for wage distribution. Moreover, fund allocated for digging waterbodies and construction of flood control walls along wild streams had also been misappropriated, they charged.

Residents of Poonjolai Street in Vazhavallan near Eral submitted a petition seeking desilting of drainage channel in their street, regular supply of drinking water and proper street light facility.

District secretary of Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi A. Zakhir Hussein submitted a petition demanding total prohibition in Tamil Nadu.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 12:02:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/plea-to-stop-illicit-sand-mining-in-cultivable-lands-thoothukudi/article29681492.ece

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