Bihar: The new haven for illegal sand mining

Illegal sand mining has been an issue in India for more than 3 years now. New reports suggest that Bihar is the newly hit state by illegal sand mining.

It was confirmed by Sushil Kumar Modi, the former Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of the Bihar state that unlawful sand mining was prevalent in the region and all of it accounted to millions from the public money.

Sushil Kumar Modi also claimed that the respective police and, mining and transport departments were helping such activities to protect “vested interests.”

In a press release, Sushil Kumar Modi stated that “There is illicit sand mining taking place from Sone river across a dozen districts in breach of the NGT (National Green Tribunal) ban on it … Hundreds of trucks carrying sand make underhand payment of Rs 6000 [+/- US$90] on each vehicle to the local police to carry sand for illicit trade,”.

The sanding and mining companies will be the most hit as they will be losing on both, the business and resources.  “It is well established that illegal mining has been happening since quite some time across various beaches of India. But till now, the parties responsible have not been traced down. In fact, businessmen like us come under scrutiny during each probe.” said Vaikundarajan, the MD of V. V. Minerals. VVM is the largest sand mining company and the only one to manufacture garnet in India.

 

 

Madras High Court Bench in Madurai dismisses PIL against sand mining

The public interest litigation petitions, filed last year, alleging indiscriminate mining of sand from Tamirabharani riverbed in the guise of desilting Srivaikundam check dam in Thoothukudi district, have been dismissed by the Madras High Court Bench in Madurai.

One of the petitions had alleged that around 4,500 tonnes of sand had been mined from the riverbed illegally in the guise of desilting and hence there was a necessity to form a State-level monitoring committee for supervising river sand mining.

“Last year too, some PIL petitioners had asked the High Court to stop the desilting work, to which the High Court had suggested that the petitioners should approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and seek modification of the order granting permission for desilting”, says Vaikundarajan, founder of VV Minerals India, one of the leading sand beach mining companies in India.

The Division Bench dismissed these petitions after Special Government Pleader M. Govindan recorded a statement that the issue was seized of by the NGT which had modified the permission granted for desilting and ordered maintenance of status quo.

 

Vaikundarajan Explains Cauvery River Issues

Cauvery is an important source of drinking water as well as irrigation for farmers in Tamil Nadu. There are a total of 127 combined water supply schemes providing water equivalent of 17tmcft every year. “More than 20% population in 19 districts depends directly Cauvery for their water requirement. The river contributes 50% of the total surface flows in all rivers and river courses across the state,” informs Vaikundarajan, founder of VV Minerals India.

The river that runs for 416 km in the state has seen several drinking water schemes in the last twenty years. Currently, the state is highly dependent on Cauvery for its drinking water needs. “Major problem occurs due to the shortage of rain and shortfall in river flow. This leads to Mettur reservoir not reaching a full storage. In these circumstances, the officials have to rely on local sources to augment the supply,” explains Vaikundarajan.

There are 4 reservoirs meant to meet the needs of a rapidly growing Chennai, but to no avail. Other major rivers such as Vaigai, Palar and Thenpennaiar have failed to contribute.The issues faced are attributed to illegal sand beach mining which, according to officials, has endangered the life of the river. “The government grants permission to companies with a limit on sand beach mining. Crossing the government approved limit is considered illegal mining. Several complaints of illegal activities have been report across the state. The government has promised to take appropriate measures to curb illegal sand beach mining activities. Hopefully, in time to come, we will see all the problems concerning Cauvery restored,” assures Vaikundarajan.

 

 

All Mining Activities Have Been Carried Upon Legal Authorization – VV Minerals

VV MineralsVV Minerals India, a sand beach mining company, in the late 1980s. In the last two decades, the company has grown to become one of the leading mining companies in India. Its efforts have been applauded with national awards for its contribution to the export business.

In the last few years, several allegations of illegal beach sand mining have surfaced. While none of the allegations are supported by evidences, the company at the receiving end happens to be VV Mineral. VV Mineral Mining is the leading manufacturer and exporter of Garnet and Ilmenite. This has probably made the company an easy target for the scam.

Nevertheless, the state government has appointed an investigating team to look into the matter across five districts of the state. IAS officer Gagandeep Singh Bedi headed the team. Before Bedi, IAS Officer Ashish Kumar was transferred due to investigating inconsistencies. The blame was once again put on VV Mineral Vaikundarajan for using his political connection to influence the transfer.

The company is accused of exporting minerals worth INR 1 Lakh crore. A scam of such an extent is practically impossible for one company to pull off. In these events, it is fair to say that VV Minerals is being set up by their business rivals.

VV Mineral holds the legal document authorizing the company to mine and export monazite. How is it then that the sand mining operations of the company are deemed illegal?” asks VV Mineral Vaikundarajan. As he continues to stand by his company, VVMinerals puts his faith in the judiciary and believes that the investigating team’s results will be in favour of VV Mineral Mining.

VV Mineral Vaikundarajan Discards All Allegations Against Company As Baseless

An organization called Meenavar Viduthalai Iyakaam has lodged an FIR against companies for being involved in illegal beach mining. A petition to stop illegal activities was submitted at the District Police Office in Tuticorin district.

The recent allegation of illegal beach sand mining has put several mining companies in a fix. The state government has suspended all illegal activities and set up an investigation team to look into the matter. These developments are causing financial losses to companies like VV Minerals and others.

Mining Ban Will Bring Huge Losses To The Industry, Says VV Mineral Vaikundarajan

Illegal-Beach-Mining-VV-Mineral-VaikundarajanVV Mineral, India’s top exporter of industrial minerals of garnet and ilmenite, has been accused of illegal beach sand mining. This has put Vaikundarajan, an influential figure in the mining circuit, under scrutiny.

The company has been issued a case requiring the founder of the company to be under judiciary check at all times. Despite being a discreet person, VV Mineral Vaikundarajan has openly supported the investigating team.

Ashish Kumar, former district collector of Tuticorin, raised the issue of illegal mining and order an enquiry. However, Kumar was immediately given marching order for having involved with the business rivals of VV Minerals. VV Mineral Vaikundarajan was accused of using his political connections to influence the transfer.

While there has been no evidence to convict the company or its founder, supporters of VV Mineral Vaikundarajan have maintained that the scam is masterminded by the rival business.

VV Minerals has an annual output of 150,000 tonnes of garnet abrasives, 225,000 tonnes of ilmenite, 12,000 tonnes of zircon and 5,000 tonnes of rutile. With these allegations surfacing, the state government has set up an investigating team to probe into the matter and banned all mining activities till further notice. These bans will bring huge losses to VV Minerals and other companies in the state.

VV Mineral Vaikundarajan Denies Allegations Against Company

Denies Allegations -VV MineralsVV Minerals has been under scrutiny following the allegations of illegal beach mining against the company. The allegations come easily as it is a known fact that the company is India’s top exporter of industrial minerals like Garnet and Ilmenite.

The company has denied all allegations stating that they have operated within the legal boundaries. The state government has setup an investigation team to look into the matter. VV Mineral Vaikundarajan, founder and director of VV Minerals India, has been open to all investigations and has assured that the company will be cleared of all charges.

Ashish Kumar, the district collector of Tuticorin, unsuccessfully carried a raid on one of the company’s warehouse. Following this raid, Kumar was immediately transferred to another location. It was revealed that Kumar’s intentions were tampered and he may have been working with the rivals of VV Mineral.

VV Mineral Vaikundarajan has been unjustly accused of using his political influence to bury the controversy. However, it should be noted that none of the allegations against the company have been proven in the court of law. “Not a single piece of evidence has been presented in the court. All these allegations are baseless. The competitors plotting against us,” says VV Mineral.

The company has a huge annual output of 150,000 tonnes of garnet abrasives, 225,000 tonnes of ilmenite, 12,000 tonnes of zircon and 5,000 tonnes of rutile. VV Mineral Mining and other companies have been gravely affected due to the suspension orders on the operations since March 2010.