Project director appointed for sand quarrying

Tamil Nadu [1] S. Ganesan [2] TIRUCHI, July 15, 2017 22:40 IST

Updated: July 15, 2017 22:40 IST

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Continuing its efforts to streamline sand mining from riverbeds, the State government has created a new post of project director to oversee quarrying operations across the State. A.

Arun Thamburaj, Sub-Collector, Kancheepuram, has been transferred and posted as project director, Sand Quarrying Operations. He will be based in Tiruchi in the temporary post created for a period of one year. Sources in the Public Works Department said the project director would be overall in-charge of sand quarrying across the State.

He has been tasked with improving, streamlining, monitoring, coordinating and getting clearances for sand quarries.

Special Project Circle Last month, the government had created a special project circle in the PWD exclusively for sand mining and monitoring it. The measures come in the wake of the recent government decision to take direct control of sand quarrying in the State and sell sand only through online bookings to curb irregularities.

The State government had launched an online booking system through the portal[3] and a mobile app, TNsand through which members of the public and sand lorry operators can book their requirements. While online bookings opened on July 1, loading of sand under the system began in a couple of quarries in Tiruchi district on July 7. PWD sources said that the online booking has been extended to all 17 quarries on the Cauvery and Coleroon rivers in Tiruchi region comprising Tiruchi, Karur, Ariyalur and Thanjavur districts.

“Over 18,000 loads have been delivered under the online booking system in the region,” a senior official said. The average demand for sand in the State is estimated to be about 25,000 lorry loads a day. While welcoming the posting of a project director, sand lorry operators, however, said getting sand loads still continued to take considerable time. “It still takes about 10 to 12 days for us to get a load of sand, which effectively has been keeping the prices high.

We hope the new Project Director will take steps to expedite loading,” T. C. B.

Sambandamurthy of Tiruchi District United Sand Lorry Operators Association. At present, two units of sand is sold at a rate between INR12,000 and INR16,000 in Tiruchi This is attributed to the large number of lorry operators, including those from western, southern and northern districts, converging at quarries in Tiruchi region.

“Sand quarries can be opened in other rivers in the southern


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