Recording TNPCB’s submission that the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has sought for a minimum of six months to undertake a study and file a report in this regard, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu said there was no case for the subsisting order of injunction to be vacated at this stage.
However, considering the concerns raised by those who had intended to commence the business and had acquired machinery and equipment to undertake quarrying, the bench said, “The time sought by TNPCB on the basis of the representation of NEERI appears to be far too long. While NEERI is permitted to furnish its detailed final report within six months from date, a preliminary report with possible prima facie findings should be made available towards the end of October.
“This is to ensure that those entities, which may have substantially invested in machines and equipment in contemplation of the imminent commencement of the quarrying business, may then be allowed to commence the business if a prima facie view is expressed in support of the recommendations of July 31, 2019, adopted by TNPCB which have been stayed in course of the present proceedings,” the bench held.
Regarding another plea that complained of rampant illegal quarrying in Krishnagiri, the bench recorded the State government’s submission that action has been taken against about eight persons who were found to be involved in illegal quarrying or violating the conditions attached to their permits.