Tamil Nadu

Over 90 lakh tonnes of beach sand was illegally mined: Amicus curiae

Despite a ban, illicit mining of beach sand continued on a massive scale.   | Photo Credit: N. Rajesh

Based on the report filed by Gagandeep Singh Bedi on illegal mining in Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari districts in 2013, V. Suresh, the amicus curiae, informed the Madras High Court that over 90 lakh tonnes of beach sand had been mined in the two districts.

In his status report filed, the amicus curiae pointed out that about 90,29,838 tonnes of beach sand had been illegally mined from 412.99 acres. In Kanniyakumari district about 54,446 tonnes of sand was mined from 4.05 acres.

He submitted that despite a ban on mining of beach sand since 2013, illicit mining and transportation of beach sand continued on a massive scale.

The First Bench of acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice R.M.T. Teekaa Raman recorded, “Amicus has brought to the notice of the court an alleged attempt of mining by V.V. Minerals without proper documentation.”

The First Bench made it clear that since beach sand mining activities have been temporarily banned, the Central and the State government should not insist on payment of royalty from the mining companies in the State.

It directed the Customs Department to furnish in four weeks the details of quantity of monazite and other beach sand minerals that were exported from the State and their monetary value from 2006 till date.

The interim orders were passed while hearing a suo motu public interest litigation initiated by the High Court on illegal beach sand mining.

Directive to special team

The Bench also directed the special team constituted by the State to send requisite experts from the Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) for Exploration & Research, Hyderabad and the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), Chennai to the coastal area covering the districts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari to collect samples of raw materials and make an assessment of the availability of Monozite and file a comprehensive report.

The Advocate General of Tamil Nadu submitted that pursuant to the direction of the High Court, action had been taken to stop mining of beach sand across the coastal districts and that a comprehensive report would be submitted within three months.

Recording the submission, the court directed the authorities to increase the frequency of patrolling on seashores.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 5:45:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/over-90-lakh-tonnes-of-beach-sand-was-illegally-mined-amicus-curiae/article17819675.ece

Next Story