Plea alleges environmental clearance granted illegally

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ordered notice to authorities in the public interest litigation petition that has alleged that nearly 33 minor mineral quarries were granted environmental clearance illegally in Virudhunagar district.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Duraiswamy and K. Murali Shankar ordered notice in a PIL petition filed by M. R. K. Siva of Karur district. The petitioner said that the National Green Tribunal in 2018 had passed an order that stated that the officials at the District level committee lacked expertise to assess environmental impact.

In pursuant to the order, the District level Environment Impact Assessment Authority was suspended and all the applications were transferred to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority. The Virudhunagar Committee had not conducted any meeting before the suspension.

But, at least 33 minor mineral quarries were granted permission by preparing false documents. It was stated that the meetings were held and environmental clearance was issued before the suspension of the committee. The petitioner sought a direction to the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to take action against the authorities involved.

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