The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has asked the State government to verify project locations of six proposed quarries close to boundaries of two wildlife sanctuaries and submit a report.
The Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), part of the MoEF, has, however, cleared several other proposals for quarrying outside the eco-sensitive zones of many wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu.
For almost all the proposals, that included stone, rough stone, granite, multi-granite quarrying, the State Chief Wildlife Warden had given a go-ahead with three conditions.
He asked the project proponents to contribute under corporate social responsibilities (CSR) in the interest of the sanctuaries. He also requested that any other condition stipulated by the Conservator of Forests/District Forest Officer be allowed.
And, the project proponent should submit an undertaking stating that no disturbance would be caused to the wildlife during project implementation.
In its 49th meeting, the NBWL standing committee decided to recommend proposals for quarries to be set up outside the proposed eco-sensitive zone asking the user agency to submit annual compliance certificate to the chief wildlife warden.
As a result, about dozen stone and granite quarries are likely to be operational in Denkanikkottai taluk alone in Krishnagiri district.
When it found the proposals for quarrying close to the boundary of the wildlife sanctuaries, five in North Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Krishnangiri district and three in Vellanadu Blackbuck Sanctuary, the Standing Committee deferred them.
One of the proposals for the development of industrial estate in Krishnagiri district by GMR Krishnagiri SEZ Limited was deferred. The project was to come up in 850 hectares which falls in the proposed ESZ and located 0.58 km, away from the boundary of North Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.
While recommending quarries around Vellanadu Blackbuck Wildlife Sanctuary in Thoothukudi district, the Chief Wildlife Warden had requested the project proponents to contribute under CSR, particularly to conserve the elephant populations by providing elephant proof trenches, solar fencings, engaging elephant trackers and other mitigation measures.
One of the recommended projects is for enhancing the manufacturing capacity of resin from 100 TPM to 1700 TPM in the private land of 10.52 ha located 4.28 km away from the boundary of proposed ESZ of Pulicat Bird Sanctuary. The State Chief Wildlife Warden recommended the proposal without imposing conditions for this proposal, according to the minutes of the NBWL meeting.