Coastal sand mining: Govts. asked to respond

The Madras High Court has directed the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government to respond to a public interest litigation petition seeking a SIT probe into illegal beach sand mining in the State.

The petitioner, a geologist, alleged massive corruption and illegalities in the mining of beach sand minerals such as Thorium-rich Monazite and other associate minerals in the State. Sand dunes were destroyed.

The offenders should be brought to justice. The State machinery was subservient to the mafia involved in beach sand mining, he alleged.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh, ordered that the notice would be returnable by March 17.

In the petition, G. Victor Rajamanickam (71) of Shanti Nagar in Thanjavur district, a doctorate in Mining Geology and working as Director of the Centre for Disaster Management at PRIST University in Thanjavur, submitted that the mining of beach sand minerals was governed by the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act, Environment Protection Act, Atomic Energy Act, Water Act, Air Act and other allied laws, rules and regulations.

Centre’s directions under Environment Protection Act are not being obeyed by the State government for the past 12 years, petitioner said

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