NGT orders inspection into DMK MLA’s quarry in Karur for flouting environmental norms

Updated - March 03, 2023 11:48 pm IST

Published - March 03, 2023 08:54 pm IST - CHENNAI

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday ordered inspections at a stone crushing unit owned by DMK Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Palaniyandi in Karur district for expanding operations without necessary environmental clearances. 

The order came in response to a petition alleging the unit was engaged in illicit mining of rough stone without obtaining mandatory clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2006 and, thereby, violating the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The petition also said the unit owned by Mr. Palaniyandi, an MLA from Srirangam constituency, expanded the stone crushing unit from its existing capacity without the consent of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

As per an earlier order, revenue and TNPCB officials, along with tahsildar and police personnel, found that the unit had quarried beyond the previously permitted depth of 12 metres by the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) as per the earlier lease, which operated in 1.62.50 hectares. Out of 2.34.50 hectares of patta land in Sivyam (North Village), they had excessively quarried and removed 5,36,250 cubic metres of rough stone by using modern machinery. In another site in the same village, the committee found evidence of unauthorised stone quarrying of about 1,96,289 cubic metres.

Subsequently, the special district-level team’s report was referred to the Revenue Divisional Officer, Kulithalai, to take appropriate action under the Tamil Nadu Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1959.

The NGT has now ordered a district TNPCB official and a SEIAA officer to inspect the unit for quarrying and crushing operations. “They are also directed to assess the environmental compensation for the violations already reported by the District Collector and for any violations that may be found,” the order said.

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