TN sand scandal: Govt’s money vanish in thin air

Chennai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating a huge problem with the way sand is being sold in the state. This problem might involve a lot of money being moved around illegally.

What’s Going On:

The ED is looking into a sand scam. They went to Kollidam sand mining sites, sales depots, and other places in Tiruchi to search for evidence. They think something fishy is happening with the way sand is being sold from government depots.

The Serious Accusations:

Here’s what they suspect: They believe that a lot of sand was sold without following the proper rules, and fake bills were given to the people who own sand lorries. This means the government lost money that should have been paid as tax, and the money might have been hidden illegally.

High Prices and Fake Papers:

People are saying that private individuals are running these government sand depots and selling sand for way more money than it should cost. For example, the government says one unit of river sand should cost ₹1,000, but these private sellers are making lorry owners buy 3 units for 6-wheel lorries and 5 units for 10-wheel lorries, at much higher prices.

Fake Bills and Lost Money:

Private agents are even making fake bills with QR codes, fake signatures, and fake GST numbers. All this money is going to these private sellers instead of going to the government as tax.

Huge Loss for Govt:

It’s a big problem because, according to estimates, the Tamil Nadu government might have lost between ₹3,500 to ₹4,000 crore in just over a year. But the Water Resources Department, which is responsible for selling river sand, says they only made ₹18.66 crore from April 1, 2022, to May 1, 2023. So, where did all that money go?

Calls for Action:

The people who own sand lorries have been telling the government and law enforcement about this problem, but nothing has been done so far. They’re worried about where all the missing money went.

What’s Next:

The ED is still investigating, and more information might come out. This is a big deal in Tamil Nadu, and people are looking for answers and justice in this sand scandal.