The Western Ghats Protection Committee (WGPC) seeks a detailed study of the tremors felt in certain parts of Kasaragod and Kannur districts on October 14. It feels that the tremors could be the fallout of uncontrolled and illegal granite and laterite mining in the region.

A meeting held here on Monday condemned the false propaganda that the Madhav Gadgil report on the Western Ghats had anti-farmer suggestions in it. The biodiversity of the Western Ghats sustains farming in Kerala and the State would not have simply existed if not for the ghats.

Secretariat march today

Protesting against the new Supreme Court directive asking small and medium crusher and quarry owners to secure NOCs from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for their operations, the Kerala Crusher and Quarry Owners Association coordination committee will hold a Secretariat march on Thursday, association officer-bearers have said.

Says he is enquiring into the matter uninfluenced by political or corporate clout of the accused

Collector Anshul Mishra has vehemently opposed the plea for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry into the granite scam in the district on the ground that the State government was better equipped to handle the problem of illegal mining as per recommendations of the Tandon Committee constituted by the Centre in 1988.

Revenue Department officials headed by Tiruchengode Revenue Division Officer (RDO) S. Kavitha surveyed four granite quarries in Paramathi Taluk on Wednesday. This included the two mines that were mined by the PRP group in Periyasolipalayam village near Kabilarmalai in Paramathi-Velur Taluk.

On August 31 the officials issued a notice to the two quarries run by the PRP group to stop mining till they obtained further directions from the District Collector. On Wednesday, the team started verifying if the granite stones were quarried within the boundary that was marked for mining.

Madurai district police have registered over 20 cases and arrested 45 persons so far

The Tamil Nadu Government has posted John Louis as Special Officer, in the rank of District Revenue Officer, to oversee the survey and assessment of granite quarries, now under way, in Madurai district. District Collector Anshul Mishra, who is heading the revenue team in inspecting the quarries and monitoring the progress on a daily basis, said on Tuesday that Mr. Louis, who was earlier serving in Villupuram district, would primarily oversee the surveys being carried out in the granite quarries and the assessments being made by the team members.

Policemen among gathering to complain against land grabbing

Tamil Nadu government has issued a lookout notice against Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M.K. Alagiri's son Durai Dayanidhi Alagiri for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore granite mining scam.

But the state opposed a bunch of petitions in the Madras High Court seeking a CBI probe into the illegal granite quarrying in Madurai district. Advocate General Navaneetha Krishnan told the bench on Friday the government would nab the culprits behind the illegal quarrying and was not protecting anybody.

District Collector Anshul Mishra has submitted an interim report on the inspection of 175 quarries by 18 teams to the State government, officials said.

The volume, in terms of granite quarrying and monetary angle, which was allegedly carried out in an illegal way by many granite operators for the last one or two decades in Melur taluk, had been unravelled after former Madurai Collector U. Sagayam’s report got leaked to the media.

T. Ramachandran, Thally MLA, and his brother T. Varadarajan were produced before the Hosur Judicial Magistrate II, K. Suresh Kumar on Saturday night at around 10.05 p.m. in connection with the illegal mining of granite in quarries at Uthanapalli near Hosur.

On behalf of the police, R. Ramesh, Public Prosecutor, argued that Mr. Ramachandran and Mr. Varadarajan had mined granite illegally and thus caused heavy loss to the government exchequer.

A Committee set up by the state government to probe into illegal quarrying of granite, has concluded that no quarrying was going on in the forest area of Kanakapura Taluk. The team led by Principal Secretary to government, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) Mohamed Sanaulla in its report stated that “no quarrying is going on within 100 metres of the forest area.”

In its report, which was submitted to the Chief Minister on March 14 this year, the Sanaulla Committee said the team, after inspecting thoroughly the locations where it was alleged that illegal quarrying was on, found that no quarrying was going on in the forest area of Kanakapura taluk.