TN: HC bypasses state govt, appoints IAS Sagayam to probe granite mining

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Chennai, Sept 12: The Tamil Nadu High Court has placed the final nail in the coffin of the Granite mafia. It appointed U Sagayam, an IAS officer of proven integrity, to finish the work he had started in nailing the granite mining mafia in the state.

Interestingly, he has bypassed the directive of the Jayalalitha government that had issued a transfer notice to the officer when he had first pointed out the illegal export of granite from the state. He had stated that granite worth rupees 15,000 crore were illegaly exported from Madurai. He was the district collector then.

Apparently, the Jayalalitha government had acted upon the complaint, but had also transferred him.

The HC has now ordered the IAS officer to probe all the mining contracts and licenses issued to various private companies. This order was in response to a PIL filed by activist KR Ramaswamy.

Showing concern, the Madras High Court bench, comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Lal and justice M Satyanarayanan said that Tamil Nadu has been ruined to such an extent that granite and rare minerals were being illegally exported to foreign countries.

It further said,"Sagayam is appointed as special officer/legal commissioner by the court to visit and inspect mines and submit a report to the court to satisfy ourselves that action is being taken."

Tamil Nadu is notorious for its illegal mining activities on the beaches. Sand, rare minerals and granite are some of the major mining concerns in the state. According to media reports, massive illegal mining and export of Monazite-rich sand from the southern districts of the state, apart from Thorium-rich sand from the beaches of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi have magnified across years.

These materials, especially Thorium, are considered crucial for nuclear technology. In fact, beaches of southern Tamil Nadu are home to 30 per cent of the global Thorium reserve.

Since Indian scientists are yet to evolve methods to use Thorium for nuclear technology, the mining mafia is exporting the resource to Europe and America. Illegal export is easy, especially since no facility is available on the ports to check activities.

OneIndia News

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