The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Wednesday banned use of earth movers and other machinery for mining of sand in 18 quarries in Cauvery and Coleroon rivers in Karur, Trichy and Thanjavu

Bullock cart operators and labourers, owing allegiance to the Tiruchi District Sand Bullock Cart Labourers’ Association, staged a demonstration in the city on Tuesday urging the Public Works Depart

Of late, the weekly grievances day meeting at the Collectorate here has been witnessing villagers turning up — not for individual grievances or complaints but for an environmental and social cause.

After a brief lull, quarrying of river sand commenced in five places on Monday, taking the total number of re-opened sand quarries to 12.

On Wednesday last, seven quarries resumed operations. Of the 12 functioning quarries, five are on the Coleroon river (two each in Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts and one in Ariyalur); five on the Cauvery (four in Karur and one in Tiruchi) and two on the Gundar (both in Virudhunagar), according to officials of the Public Works Department (PWD).

Environmental clearances granted last year to Public Works Department for sand quarrying in 21 places on the river beds of Coleroon and Cauvery are now under the scrutiny of the National Green Trib

The Madras High Court has permitted 10 sand quarries on the Cauvery-Coleroon river beds to continue its operations for a further period of two months.

More than 5-year-old quarries banned in some districts

It may take a few months for authorities to open new sand quarries on the Cauvery-Coleroon river basin in the wake of the recent order of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. One of the decisions taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday was that sites for new quarries should be identified and approval from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) secured.

Civic body remains mute spectator to wanton pollution at tollgate junction

The tollgate junction near the Coleroon river, the gateway to the city from the northern side, is fast turning into an eyesore owing to indiscriminate dumping of garbage by commercial establishments on the roadsides.

The Tiruchi Corporation would adopt trenchless technology to lay pumping mains of the on-going Drinking Water Supply Augmentation Scheme in critical junctions and crossings at 11 places in the city.

The drinking water scheme is being executed at an estimated cost of Rs.221.42 crore with financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

CHENNAI/SALEM: Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Tuesday inform