Ban on A.P. sand lorries sought

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Sand lorry owners from Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts went on a hunger strike earlier this week near the Netaji statue on the Red Hills-Tiruvallur Road, demanding a ban of lorries from Andhra Pradesh selling adulterated sand here.

Organised by the Tamil Nadu Federation of Sand Lorry Owners Associations, the agitation was joined by about 34 associations from Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.

Federation general secretary R. Panneerselvam said about 1,500 sand lorry owners were affected by the sale. They alleged that the sand, adulterated with sea sand, would result in structural failure in buildings.

Each lorry load from the neighbouring State transported 45-50 tonnes of sand and charged Rs.12,000, he said. Lorries in Tamil Nadu were allowed to carry only 9.5 tonnes of river sand from the Palar, Araniar and Kosasthalaiyar rivers.

He said the adulteration was taking place in various places, including Uthukottai, Kavarapettai, Naidupet and Gummidipoondi before it was sold in Chennai and other parts of the State.

The lorry owners alleged that there were at least 350 lorries involved in the operation. They had collected samples and sent them for testing to the Data Centre of the Public Works Department at Taramani. They would file a public interest litigation based on the results.

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