Giving relief to sand quarries in Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on Monday issued an interim stay on the Madras High Court’s order that had directed shutting of all sand quarries across the state in six months.
A Bench, led by Justice Madan B. Lokur, agreed with the State’s point of view that the High Court order did not take into consideration the “demand and supply position” of the material while passing the stay order.
The Bench stayed the High Court order on a special leave petition filed by Tamil Nadu challenging the order.
The High Court had directed the State government to close all the quarries of granites and other minerals in order to maintain ecological balance and also directed that no new quarries should be opened
The Tamil Nadu government, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and Yogesh Kanna, said a complete end to sand quarrying would be a recipe for disaster. Importing sand would be a major drain on funds and would hit the construction industry and the end-buyer.
Rohatgi argued that the State’s four major ports – Ennore, Kattupalli, Chennai and Tuticorin – could only supply about 2,000 trucks of sand whereas Chennai city alone needs over 5,000 truckloads on a daily basis.