Chennai: Tamilnadu government has issued a Government Order stating that extraction of earth not exceeding one-and-a-half metres shall not be treated as mining activity.
The G.O. said, ‘Extraction or removal of earth in ryotwari lands manually for improvement of agricultural lands or lands that are not suitable for cultivation purpose, for an optimum depth based on the topographical condition to be specified by the Assistant Director of Geology and Mining or Deputy Director of Geology and Mining, as the case may be, not exceeding one-and-a-half metres shall not be treated as mining activity.’
It further said that such extraction of earth shall be carried out under a permit issued for a period not exceeding three months by the District Collector concerned.
‘The soil excavated approximately upto one feet depth from the top may be used/replaced for improving the soil structure or fertility of lands where continuous cultivation is under taken for several decades without using organic manures and where soil nutrients got depleted which resulted in lesser yield,’ the G.O. added.
Sources said that the G.O. was issued based on the request made by potters and brick makers.
Meanwhile, social activists have expressed their concern that this GO will lead to illegal sand mining.