Chennai, Nov 18 (PTI) PMK MP Anbumani Ramadoss has filed a petition in the Madras High Court for a direction to the state government to close down all sand quarries in the state to save rivers, water bodies besides farmers and consequently use an alternative to sand in construction activities under government projects.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M.Sundar, before whom the PIL came up recently, directed the state government to file its counter affidavit within three weeks and rejoinder, if any, to be filed within one week thereafter.

In his petition, Anbumani also sought a direction to the state government to take appropriate action against illegal and unlawful mining activities in the state by setting up an expert committee under the guidance of a retired judge of Supreme court/High court.

He said unless the state government imposes a complete ban on the use of river sand in construction activities in the state, the demand for river sand will continue to exist.

This will encourage the greedy and rapacious middlemen and authorities concerned to continue to indulge in sand mining activities in river basins and the natural resources of rivers in the state will always be under danger, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.