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By LL News|Email the author|Aug 09,2013
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government on Friday ordered suspension of sand mining in Tuticorin district and formed a Special Team to probe into the issue in the backdrop of reports of illegal mining activities surfacing there.

A special team headed by Revenue Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi and officials from Environment and Forests, Geology and Mining departments has been formed to inspect the mining activities as per the Section 24 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 an official release said.

`The Commissioner of Geology and Mining has recommended that till the completion of the inspection by the Special Team, mining operations in respect of those leases may be directed to be stopped to facilitate inspections`, it said.

Tuticorin District Collector would issue proceedings directing all the lessees of minerals--garnet, ilmenite and rutile in the district to `stop` the mining operations pending completion of the inspections by the Special Team.

`The Special Team is directed to complete the inspections expeditiously and submit the report to the Government within a month`, the release said.

The Government action comes days after the transfer of Tuticorin District Collector Ashish Kumar after he cracked down on illegal sand mining in the area.

However, the official himself termed his transfer as a `government`s decision` and refused to comment.