Illegal mining of silica-rich sand goes unabated in the interiors of Chettipulam village, allegedly under the gaze of revenue administration, here in Vedaranyam. At least 10 mining sites operate illegally in the village, which is one of the few isolated pockets rich of silica sand. Silica sand falls under the category of rare earth minerals, considered critical for high-end technologies, and its mining is subject to ancillary riders.