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Indian government body to take an "iron hand" to illegal granite quarrying in Madurai

September 14, 2012
KEYWORDS granite / quarrying
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The government crackdown on illegal quarrying in the Madurai region of India remains ongoing, and according to a report in the Business Standard, the Tamil Nadu government has told Madras High Court that it was dealing with illegal granite quarrying "with an iron hand." It has also sought to dismiss a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the issue.

According to the report, the district collector had formed 18 teams to detect seven types of violations. Inspection began on August 2, and they have included the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. The Business Standard reports that out of 175 quarries in the region, 166 quarries had been inspected. Of those, violations such as encroachments on government land were found in 76 quarries.

This far, over 17 First Information Reports (similar to criminal complaints in the U.S.) have been filed, and more than 50 people, including government officials, have been arrested, according to IBNLive.com, an Indian news source that works in conjunction with CNN. These include Union Minister MK Alagiri's son, Durai Dayanidhi.

The most prominent arrest among stone suppliers is PRP Exports shareholder P. Palanichamy. One of the largest stone producers in India, PRP Exports' operations have been seized by government officials.

Multiple attempts to contact representatives of PRP Export and India's trade associations have been unsuccessful.

While these events have raised concern about the supply chain of Indian stone, most importers and producers feel that the effect will not be long term, and they are confident that most -- if not all -- of India's stone materials will remain in circulation.

Stone World will bring you more details on this matter as they become available.

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