Residents of Srinivasapuram on Sunday stopped five sand-laden trucks, alleging that they were being used to transport sand from the beach illegally. They later handed over the lorries to police. They alleged that the men come in group and were transporting sand illegally. "They sell it to outsiders," said a resident. Police, however, said the lorries were involved in transporting debris from the beach where a cleaning operation was going on.
"During the day they claim to be involved in cleaning work, but at night, they transport sand from the beach and sell it," said a resident, Manivannan. "Though we took up the issue with police, they never seem to be interested to stop the smuggling of sand. This time we caught hold of the five lorries, but police let them off in the morning." "The National Green Tribunal has recently asked the public works department (PWD) to remove the debris along the coastline.
So the department was cleaning the debris. These lorries were transporting the garbage from the beach," said a PWD engineer, on condition of anonymity. "Beach sand is not ideal for building construction because of its high salinity, but it can be used as a buffer material and, once washed, may be used even in the mortar mix," said a PWD official. "The residents did not hand over any lorry to us.
They themselves freed them after talks with the lorry owners, without bringing the issue to us. The PWD officials have a proper order to carry out the work," said Pattinampakkam inspector Stephen.