Chennai, Apr 4 (PTI): The Madras High Court today directed Tamil Nadu government to deploy experts to coastal areas in three districts in the state, to make an assessment on the availability of monozite and submit a comprehensive report on the same.
The first bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice RMT Teekaa Raman passed the order on a PIL filed, last year, alleging illegalities in mining of beach sand minerals in the southern coast covering Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts.
When the matter came up today, the bench had directed the state government to send requisite experts from Atomic Minerals Directorate and Indian Bureau of Mines, Chennai, to the coastal areas covering these three districts, to collect samples of raw materials and assess the availability of monozite and submit a comprehensive report.
Perusing a report submitted by the Amicus Curiae, appointed by the Court in 2016 to assist it in matters relating to illegal beach sand mining, the bench also directed the Centre to take effective steps to regulate the process of mining and restrict issuance of licenses for mining monozite.
The Amicus Curiae had in his report submitted that despite the ban imposed in 2013 by the state government on mining and transporting of beach sand, illicit mining was continuing in a brazen manner.
The bench then directed the Assistant Commissioner of Customs to furnish details of quantity of monazite and other beach minerals that were exported (from the state) and their value from 2006 till date.
The court then posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.