Reopen more quarries: Sand lorry operators

Tiruchirapalli[1]TIRUCHI[2]TIRUCHI,May 17, 2017 08:33 IST

Updated:May 17, 2017 08:34 IST

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Sand lorry operators have urged the Public Works Department to open more quarries in view of huge rush at sand quarries that were reopened in Tiruchi and Karur districts last week. There are serpentine queues of lorries at quarries on the Cauvery and the Coleroon in Tiruchi region and along highways as the PWD started reopening quarries that were shut following a Madras High Court order against mechanised mining in some quarries on April 28. Quarries across the State were shut after the High Court restrained the PWD from allowing mechanised quarrying.

The huge rush has been creating traffic problem. The PWD authorities said five quarries have been reopened and all quarries that were functioning with permission for mechanised quarrying prior to the court order would reopen in a phased manner. Members of the Tamil Nadu Sand Lorry Owners Federation, led by its president Sella Rajamani, met the Chief Engineer of PWD (Water Resources Organisation), Tiruchi, on Tuesday and urged him to take steps to reopen more quarries.

Mr. Rajamani expressed concern over the situation wherein sand lorries are forced to wait in long queues for days together to load sand from the five quarries that were functioning in Tiruchi region. “Only about 200 to 300 lorries are being loaded a day as against the demand of 10,000 lorries.

So hundreds of lorries are queuing up,” he said. He alleged that there was no proper regulation of sand lorries at the quarries. “Locals are demanding that their vehicles should be loaded first and lorries from other places are forced to wait for several days. Many lorries have not got a single load of lorry since last Thursday,” he said.

He demanded that the PWD regulate the queues and ensure that the vehicles were loaded on a first-come, first-served basis. “We have been insisting on introduction of an online system for booking directly by consumers. We have even filed a case in the court seeking a direction to the PWD to introduce such a system.

Under the system, consumers can directly book loads based on demand by providing an identity proof and the lorry registration number that is to be sent for taking the load. This will prevent smuggling and irregularities,” he contended. Lorries are forced to queue up along highways and other roads leading to quarries.

Public oppose this and the police are initiating action against drivers. To overcome the problem, the PWD should allow the federation to create parking lots near quarries so as to streamline the system. The PWD can depute an official and issue tokens.

He said on no account that private persons should be allowed to run the parking lots as it will lead to irregularities.


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