TN govt to take stringent action against stone quarries

Tamil Nadu government is mooting stringent action against the stone quarries in the state after it received several complaints of illegal crushing of stones and blasting in the quarries.

The state Chief secretary has, according to information available, directed all the district collectors to conduct a proper survey on the number of stone quarries present in their respective districts and to conduct a proper investigation on whether all these quarries are functioning according to the protocols prescribed.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu government told IANS that the main reason has been a large number of complaints from environmentalists and social activists on the quarries creating environmental hazards, including pollution of freshwater sources.

Villupuram district collector D. Mohan directed all the quarry owners in the district to strictly follow the protocols and abide by the government rules or face police action. He has also informed the quarry owners to be aware of the safety of the people who are living near the quarries and to employ experienced drivers in the trucks that are transporting the crushed stones from the quarries as several accidents were reported in the district involving speeding trucks carrying materials from quarries.

The district collector has also directed quarry owners to inform the local people before rocks are blasted in these quarries. The district collector has also warned the quarry owners that there would be regular inspection by the pollution control board and other arms of the government and directed them to have all the records in place.

It may be noted that many environmentalists had complained about the pollution being caused by quarries in Southern districts of Tamil Nadu and this is also one reason for the government to move forward with strong measures.

P.R. Kesavaraj, Director, Environmental Study Centre, Madurai while speaking to IANS said, “The quarries have been deploying tactics that are not in line with the environmental protocols of the government. It is a good development that the district collectors have started cracking down on these quarries. It has to be seen whether these actions will continue or end up as a single-day phenomenon. If proper measures are taken, it will be good for the environment and the society.”




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