Sand quarrying comes to a halt

Tamil Nadu Sand Lorry Owners Federation seeks action on its complaints

A. Subramani

CHENNAI: Hundreds of sand laden trucks are grounded at the only functioning sand quarry in Kancheepuram district because of poor roads and over-loading.

Following this, the Tamil Nadu Sand Lorry Owners Federation has placed four complaints before the Revenue and Public Works Department personnel.

At a premium

The Federation said loading contractors at Anjur on the Palar river basin were selling sand at a premium.

Furthermore, sand quarried at the site exceeded the permitted ceiling of 500 to 550 lorry loads a day.

Also, overloading of vehicles had resulted in about 500 trucks breaking down or getting stuck; the fourth complaint says the mandatory requirement of collecting the quarried sand from a site at least two km away from the quarry was being flouted.

Federation secretary R. Panneerselvam said heavy rain and floods, as also protests by villagers of Veppedu and Kaalur, had brought quarrying operations to a halt two weeks ago.

Manifold increase

With floods affecting operations in Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, the main sources for the Chennai market, the number of trucks visiting Anjur, the only quarrying site on the basin, had increased manifold, said Federation office-bearers.

When the site was reopened on December 20, hundreds of trucks headed to the spot.

Many of them returned with four units of sand instead of the usual two units.

The result: The entire route is now clogged with vehicles that either got stuck or broke down. Most of the truckloads of quarried sand at the site have gone unaccounted for, the Federation said.

During a recent meeting with the Kancheepuram District Collector, the Federation demanded the sale of two units of sand for the Government-fixed rate of Rs. 626, which included Rs. 26 for surcharge.

The Collector has promised to forward their demands to the PWD Secretary for appropriate action.

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