Sand in school: PWD, rev officials versions differ on action taken
VELLORE: The reaction of officialdom to the report on December 28 in these columns highlighting the presence of huge quantities of sand mined from the Palar river dumped on the campus of the government higher secondary school at Vallimalai in Katpadi taluk became intriguing as revenue and PWD officials gave differing versions on auctioning the sand, sources said.
When asked, PWD’s WRD (water resources division) officials seeking anonymity said that they were yet to get a letter from the revenue department to auction the sand in the school and submit the proceeds to the district treasury. However, the official Vellore district WhatsApp group - whose administrators include the Vellore Collector, DRO, RDO, PRO, collector’s PA and three other senior officials – had uploaded the same day a letter dated December 26 from the Katpadi Tahsildar to the Melpadi RI (revenue inspector) ordering him to request the PWD to auction the sand and remit the money in the district treasury.
Revenue Inspector A Satish Kumar had in turn in a handwritten letter dated December 27 to the PWD EE (WRD) with reference to the Tahsildar’s letter to him dated a day earlier requested public auction of the dumped sand which was also uploaded on the district’s official WhatsApp group. The PWD official’s initials on receipt of the letter is also seen in the handwritten letter.
Vellore AIADMK urban district secretary SRK Appu said, “I spoke to the Collector and Katpadi Tahsildar and wanted to know why there was a delay in identifying the culprit who dumped the sand. With teachers and the watchman claiming no idea of how this occurred, the CCTV footage should be viewed to identify the culprit. Also, such huge quantities of sand could not be moved without the knowledge of the local Minister Duraimurugan or Vellore MP Kathir Anand.”
Meanwhile, cadre of Republican Party of India (RPI) staged a demonstration in front of the Vellore Collectorate on Friday demanding official to stop the pillaging of the Palar river by anti-socials with links to the ruling dispensation.