Tamil Nadu

CB-CID to probe Tamirabharani sand quarrying case

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has transferred the investigation into a case pertaining to illegal sand quarrying in Tamirabharani river to the CB-CID.

Taking note of the fact that the region was rich in atomic minerals, the court directed the Atomic Minerals Directorate to conduct a detailed analysis and exploration there and submit a report.

The court was hearing a petition filed in 2020 by K. Balakrishnan of Thoothukudi district, seeking a direction to authorities to prevent one D. Shanmugavel from illegally quarrying sand from the river.

A Division Bench of Justices K. Kalyanasundaram and B. Pugalendhi directed the CB-CID to probe the extent of sand excavated and whether it was transported and sold illegally. The court took note of the fact that the contract for the construction of a check dam across the river was awarded to the private party in 2019.

It was said that the contractor was permitted to use the sand available near the river to construct the check dam. The petitioner said the special condition was not there in the original agreement, but was inserted after he had lodged a complaint in this regard.

Earlier, the court, which was satisfied that a case was made out by the petitioner, appointed an expert to conduct a detailed survey of the sand excavated from the check dam site and nearby areas.

It was submitted that the sand contained a substantial amount of heavy minerals like garnet, ilmenite, rutile, zircon, leucoxene, sillimanite, kyanite and monazite. The Atomic Minerals Directorate submitted that a detailed analysis of the area and the preparation of a report would take about eight to ten months. The presence of heavy minerals there was ascertained.

It was said that five cases were conducted and concluded in a hurried manner with regard to the illegal quarrying of sand and that the private party had offered to construct mandapams for two temples in the village. The private party had taken sand from the Tamirabharani against rules and regulations, the court said.

The court directed the CB-CID to probe the manner and circumstances under which the special condition was incorporated in the contract without any authority after the criminal case was registered. The court also ordered police protection for the petitioner.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 10:20:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cb-cid-to-probe-tamirabharani-sand-quarrying-cases-madurai-high-court-thoothukudi/article37723964.ece

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