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TN forms special team to verify illicit mining in Thoothukudi district

Move comes after District collector was transferred

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

The Tamil Nadu Government today ordered to form a special team to verify the illicit mining in Thoothukudi district in Southern Tamil Nadu, which has been on the storm after the District Collector was transferred after conducting a raid in a private company on the alleged illegal mining case.
The State Government's decision comes after the Commissioner, Geology & Mining has recommended, based on the a report by the District Collector, a Special Team may be formed by the Government consisting of officers from the Departments of Revenue, Environment and Forests and Geology and Mining to inspect the mining in all the leased areas of Garnet, Ilmenite and Rutile in Thoothukudi district as per the Section 24 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957.
The Commissioner also recommended that till the completion of the inspection by the Special Team, mining operations in respect to these leases may be directed to be stopped to facilitate inspections and asked the State Government to direct officials to stop forthwith the issuance of permits to transport the minerals.
After examining the report, the state Government has ordered to form a Special Team, which will be headed by Gangadeep Singh Bedi, Secretary, Revenue Department to inspect and verify, whether there is illicit mining by six lessees of minerals- garnet, Ilmenite and Rutile in Thoothukudi district, said in the Order.
This team will consist of officers from the departments of Revenue, Environment and Forests and Geology and Mining. The Team members will be nominated by the respective Secretaries to Government, it was further said.
The District Collector of Thoothukudi will issue proceedings directing all lessees of minerals - garnet, ilmenite and rutile in the district to stop the mining operations pending completion of the inspections by the Special Team.
The Assistant Director, (Mines) Thoothukudi is directed to stop issuance of transport permits to the six lessees till the inspections are completed and the Special Team is directed to complete the inspections expeditiously and submit its report to the Government within a month, said in the Order.

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First Published: Fri, August 09 2013. 13:36 IST