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The Madras High Court today declined to stay its single judge's order directing the Tamil Nadu government to stop all sand mining and quarrying activities in the state within six months. Justices Kalyanasundaram and Krishnavalli of the Madurai Bench gave time to the state government, which had appealed against the order, to file its arguments and posted the case for hearing on December 8. On November 29, Justice R Mahadevan ordered closure of all existing sand mines in six months and disallowed permission for new sand quarries on a petition by M R M Ramaiya. The petitioner had sought permission to sell river sand imported from Malayasia. The judge had observed that sand had been quarried beyond permitted level affecting the flow of water in rivers and impacting agriculture in Tamil Nadu. Besides, the ground water level had also dipped in several places due to mining of sand, he noted.
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