Mineral sand being smuggled to TN: Jayarajan

Blames outsiders for protest against sand-mining in Alappad

The government is aware of the illegal smuggling of precious mineral sand from Alappad by sea and road to Tamil Nadu, Minister for Industries E.P. Jayarajan said on Friday.

“Mineral sand is being smuggled to Tamil Nadu and there are agencies working for it,” the Minister said while replying to a calling attention motion by R. Ramachandran in the Assembly demanding steps to solve the problems due to extensive sand-mining by the Indian Rare Earths (IRE) at Vellanathuruthu in Alappad grama panchayat.

The Minister said outsiders were responsible for the ongoing protest in Alappad against sand-mining. “These vested interests are trying to loot the wealth. They have the support of some who are opposing the development of the State in the name of environment protection.”

To visit Alappad

Mr. Jayarajan said that sea washing and inlanding cannot be stopped and would be against the interests of the State. The Minister said he and Mr. Ramachandran, the local legislator, would visit Alappad to hold talks with local people and to solve their problems.

The Minister said mineral sand was available on the 22.5-km coastline from Neendakara to Kayamkulam. Of the 16.5 km in Alappad, 16 km has granite wall and mineral sand is being mined only in 0.5 km. The seawashing will yield only 25% mineral sand. The plots are taken on lease by paying good amount and returned to the owners after filling.

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