High Court allows 10 sand quarries to continue operations

The Madras High Court has permitted 10 sand quarries on the Cauvery-Coleroon river beds to continue its operations for a further period of two months. By an order dated August 3, a Division Bench headed by Justice R.Banumathi had ordered the closure of five-year old quarries in the Cauvery-Coleroon riverbeds. It had also ordered that all new quarries in the region should obtain clearance from the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) within three months. The three-month deadline is to end on November 3. The PWD had applied to the authority.

The government filed the present applications seeking extension of time. The Government Pleader (GP), S.Venkatesh, submitted that unless the time for operation of sand quarries was extended, there would sand scarcity which would greatly affect construction activities, and in particular the development of infrastructure and implementation of other government welfare schemes.

In the present order, a Bench comprising Justices R.Banumathi and R.Subbiah said considering the fact that the PWD had already made application to the SEIAA and the GP’s submissions, it was permitting the ten quarries which were located in Tiruchirappalli, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts to continue operation for another two months. In respect of all other aspects, the earlier order of August 3 would hold good, the Bench said.

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