Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has transferred a PIL, seeking to stay granite mining activities inside the core zone areas of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, to the National Green Tribunal bench at Chennai.
The petitioner submitted as per the existing policy of the state and central governments, the commissioning of granite quarry within ten km radius from the outer limits of tiger reserve was not permitted without clearance from the Environment Ministry.
The petitioner said in Ambasuamdram taluk, quarries were located within 1.5 to 2 KM from the buffer area of KMTR. The habitat of wild animals had been affected due to the mining noise and pollution. The government advocate objected to the PIL saying the petitioner had no locus standi to file the PIL.
The Assistant Solicitor General Senthil Velan said government license had been given under granite conservation and development rules, 1999, and rules cannot be hooked up with the Environment Protection Act. There was no provision in the granite conservation and development rules for cancelling the license granted for firms, he said.
A Division Bench of Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice P Devadass transferred the PIL filed by R Papanasam, Secretary, Ambai Taluk 'Tamirabarani Vivasayigal Nala Sangam' to the Green bench.