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Government opens 11 sand quarries in central districts

A government sand quarry was inaugurated on Thursday, on the banks of Koozhayaru - a tributary of Kollidam, at Viragalur village in Lalgudi.

Government opens 11 sand quarries in central districts
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Thiruchirapalli

More than 500 lorries waited before the sand quarry. However, villagers who alleged the indiscriminate mining of sand from river beds for the water scarcity in the region, blocked the movement of vehicles. They also besieged the machines used for mining sand. Claiming that the sand lorries, which were plying at a high speed, posed a threat to their lives people staged a protest before a quarry on Thursday. 

“The government should have given a patient hearing to the public before opening the sand quarry. Already the groundwater level has gone beyond 500 feet as the miners have been quarrying sand beyond 20 feet,” said A Selvaraj one of the organisers of the protest. Meanwhile, there were also complaints that sand distribution was not being done in a uniform manner. 

Slashing of price: 

Sources said, earlier one load of sand was sold between Rs 3,200 and Rs 6,000 for two units of sand but now, the same two units of sand was being sold for Rs 1,050 (one unit sand Rs 800, loading charge Rs 210 and VAT Rs 40) and there was also a condition that lorry owners should draw a DD as cash transactions are not allowed. 

After the contract period, private parties competed for the 34 sand quarries out of 44 functioning across the state last month. Sand supply was hit in the state and the builders had a tough time in continuing or completing their projects and demands were put forth to the government to make sand available for construction activities. Heeding the appeals, the state government planned to open 25 sand quarries that would be fully run by the government. Following this, around 10 quarries in the central region were inaugurated on Wednesday.

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