The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ordered notice to the State of a PIL petition challenging a government order allowing the removal of private land/patta land for domestic and agricultural purposes.
The petitioner stated that under the pretext of the same subsoil, minerals have been illegally mined and sold for commercial purposes.
A division bench of Justices S. Vaidyanathan and G. Jayachandran ordered the opinion on the plea filed by K. Gunasekaran of Virudhunagar district. He complained that it would cause serious damage and irreparable loss to the farmers and called on the authorities to prevent the indiscriminate extraction of earth/soil from private patta lands.
He said the Director of Geology and Mines had sent a proposal to the government for the extraction or removal of soil from the ryotwari lands for the improvement of agricultural land and a government order had been passed. . An amendment has been made to the Tamil Nadu Minor Mining Concession Rules 1959.
The amendment states that the manual digging or removal of earth/soil in ryotwari land for the improvement of agricultural land or land which is unsuitable for cultivation purposes, to an optimum depth specified by authorities not exceeding one and a half meters should not be treated as mining. , he said.
The extraction must be carried out under a permit issued by a district collector for a period not exceeding three months. But the standards for declaring land unsuitable for cultivation had not been notified. Without public opinion, the government order was issued, he complained.
This could lead to the removal of nutrient-rich topsoil, the percolation and infiltration state of the surface will be significantly reduced, which will restore permeability and groundwater recharge conditions, the petitioner said.