TAMIL NADU

Villagers’ petition highlights how sand mining is undermining channel

People waiting at the Collectorate to give a petition against sand quarrying in Tiruchi.— File Photo

People waiting at the Collectorate to give a petition against sand quarrying in Tiruchi.— File Photo  

Of late, the weekly grievances day meeting at the Collectorate here has been witnessing villagers turning up — not for individual grievances or complaints but for an environmental and social cause.

Villagers have been drawing the attention of the district administration to the massive quarrying of sand and pleading for immediate intervention to check the same.

At least six petitions have been received so far in the last two months.

The latest in the list is the case of Thinnakulam near Lalgudi. In a recent memorandum to the district administration, they have expressed concern over the ‘sudden and extensive damage’ caused to Malaiyappan channel, the main irrigational channel for their fields, through the operation of lorries, trucks and tractors for moving the sand.

The Malaiyappan irrigational channel is being silted up using heavy machinery for setting up pathway to the sand quarry, the memorandum said.

Further, the bank of the Malaiyappan channel was the lone pathway for the residents of Thinnakulam to reach the bus stand at Virugalur. “The operation of trucks on the banks of the Malaiyappan channel would be an obstacle for the villagers,” the memorandum said, pleading for immediate action to stop the quarrying of sand.

One of the villagers, L. Balasubramanian said that his paddy fields located close to the banks of the river Coleroon suffered extensive damage during the floods in 2006-07.

The present damage to the Malaiyappan channel would only aggravate the crisis during monsoon or floods, he said pleading for immediate action by the district administration.



The bank of the channel was lone pathway for Thinnakulam residents to reach bus stand



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