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HC bars sand quarrying between Karur, Tiruchi

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday granted an injunction restraining government authorities from operating sand quarries between Karur and Tiruchi on the Cauvery riverbed.

The Division Bench of Justices K. K. Sasidharan and G. R. Swaminathan directed the government authorities to submit a report on projects that were being carried out along the riverbed.

Srinivasan, the petitioner, who is also a former councillor of Musiri Municipality, while seeking an injunction, had said that sand quarrying activities had affected the ground water table and adversely impacted supply of water for drinking and agricultural activities in the region, which is dependent on the Cauvery.

The river sand was used for construction activities and also transported to other States, causing scarcity in Tamil Nadu, he said.

The Public Works Department (PWD), which controls sand quarrying, had been carrying on with quarrying activities even after knowing that there was a shortage of river sand, alleged the petitioner. He also accused the government of manipulating records in order to continue sand quarrying in the region. He claimed that environment clearance was obtained for Kulithalai and adjacent Manathattai in Karur district by producing “manipulated records.”

Advocate for the petitioner K. Govindarajan said that the authorities were quarrying sand in the region beyond permissible limits. This had also weakened the Thanthai Periyar bridge which connects Kulithalai and Musiri.

The very base of the bridge had been weakened by quarrying activities, he alleged. The TWAD Board had also implemented various water supply projects along the river


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