File status report on illegal sand quarrying, says HC

Taking a serious view of illegal quarrying of top soil (‘savudu’) in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday directed the State to respond to a series of queries with regard to the action taken so far in curbing such activities.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and B. Pugalendhi directed the State to file a comprehensive status report with regard to the steps taken to seize and confiscate vehicles and tools involved in the illegal activities, under the relevant Acts and Rules.

The court asked the State as to whether the government has implemented or formulated any rules pertaining to the conservation of soil as per the direction of the Supreme Court and the High Court.

Questioning the monitoring mechanism in place and whether the district and the taluk level task force were taking appropriate action in tackling the issues, the court also sought to know if any action was taken against officials for failing to stop the irregularities.

The court directed the State to file a comprehensive status report and adjourned the hearing in the case to September 29. The court was hearing a batch of petitions alleging illegal quarrying of ‘savudu.’

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