SC gives green signal for private sand miningtext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday gave its permission for the private sector to undertake mineral sand mining in the state.
The three-member bench, while considering a plea filed by CMRL MD Sasidharan Kartha challenging a government order, said the government could decide on the areas where the companies can be allowed to do mining.
Mineral sand deposits in the coast of Kollam and Alapuzha districts containing Ilmenite, Rutile, Monazite, Zircon and Sillamanite and estimated to be worth several billions of rupees has been eyed by private sector for many years.
The state government owned Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd and the central public sector Indian Rare Earths Ltd are the only companies now permitted to mine mineral sands.
The Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd, headed by S.N. Sasidharan Kartha, is one of the major private firms angling for mining rights in the region for quite sometimes.
The coastal regions of Kollam and Alapuzha districts in the state are allegedly facing a series of environmental hazards which included erosion of the coast and high levels of radiation.