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Contractor smuggles sand from Pallavaram Lake, vehicles seized
The contractor engaged in the restoration of the Pallavaram Lake has been illegally diverting the excavated soil for the widening of the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam radial road project, for which the same entity is listed as a sub-contractor. Four excavators and seven lorries have been seized by the Department of Geology and Mining, whose permission is mandatory for such exercises.
The rejuvenation of these lakes was started by the Pallavaram Municipality, under the Tamil Nadu Sustainable Urban Development Project (TNSUDP), at an estimated cost of Rs 14 crores.
S David Manohar, a social activist with ArapporIyakkam, said that PallavaramLake (Periya Eri) and Keezhkattalai Lake, are located on either side of the Pallavram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road, for which the road-widening works are currently underway at an estimated cost of Rs 35 crores.
“The contractor – AST Constructions – had diverted the sand dredged from the Pallavaram Lake to the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road widening project. The excavated soil amount should be paid to the revenue department,” said the activist.
An official from the Department of Geology and Mining confirmed this diktat, adding, “The soil excavated cannot be shifted to another location without the permission of the collector and our department. Here, the contractor has failed to follow the rule and following a complaint from the Tahsildar, the vehicles – four excavators and seven lorries – were seized.”