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5 district collectors appear in Enforcement Directorate in Chennai

5 district collectors appear in Enforcement Directorate in Chennai

Five district collectors have appeared before the Enforcement Directorate to provide explanations regarding the issue of illegal sand dumping across Tamil Nadu. This action follows allegations against quarry contractors for unlawfully extracting sand in quantities exceeding government-set limits.

On September 12th last year, enforcement officers conducted raids at 34 locations, including the residences and offices of sand quarry owners Dindigul Ratnam, Pudukottai Ramachandran, Karikalan, Auditor Shanmugaraj, and officials from the Water Resources Department and quarries. During these raids, documents indicating illegal money transfers amounting to crores of rupees, as well as receipts related to sand mining and sales in violation of government regulations, were seized.

The Enforcement Directoratet summoned the District Collectors of Karur, Vellore, Trichy, Thanjavur, and Ariyalur, along with senior officials from the State Water Resources Department and retired Public Works Engineers, to appear in person. In response, the five District Collectors and Water Resources Department officials filed a petition in the Madras High Court, which granted an interim stay on the Enforcement Directorate’s summons.

The Enforcement Directorate appealed this decision to the Supreme Court, which ordered the five District Collectors to appear before them today, April 25th. Accordingly, the District Collectors of Vellore (Subbulakshmi), Ariyalur (Anne Mary Swarna), Karur (Thangavel), Trichy (Pradeep Kumar), and Thanjavur (Deepak Jacob) presented themselves before the Enforcement Department's office in Nungambakkam, Chennai.

During the proceedings, enforcement officials conducted separate investigations into each individual. The responses provided by the collectors to questions regarding the issue of sand mining were recorded as part of the investigation. The inquiry aims to ascertain whether the collectors were involved in illegal sand mining or if such activities occurred without their knowledge.