Tamil Nadu shelves plan to privatise sand quarrying

May 26th, 2008 - 9:57 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, May 26 (IANS) Tamil Nadu’s DMK government Monday shelved a proposal of privatising sand quarrying following criticism from its allies as well as the opposition. At an ‘all-party’ meeting attended only by DMK and allies and chaired by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, it was decided to continue with the existing system, in which sand quarrying and selling is undertaken by the state government.

Speakers at the meeting opposed the proposal of auctioning sand quarries to private contractors who in turn were to retail the sand.

Senior Congress leader D. Sudharshanam said auctioning the quarries would lead to new problems.

G.K. Mani of PMK asked the government to redraw its sand sale norms without privatising the business.

Purathi Bharatham’s Poovai Jagan Murthy wanted the government to increase the number of quarries so that the retail price could be reduced.

Opposition parties including AIADMK, MDMK and DMDK boycotted the meeting.

In 2003, the government headed by AIADMK had nationalised the sand quarrying following complaints.

The water resources department carries out sand sales from 130 quarries. During fiscal 2007-08, the government earned around Rs.1.21 billion from this activity.

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