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12 Apr 2021, Edition - 2099, Monday

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Coimbatore

The Vanishing Red Sands of Coimbatore

Covai Post Network

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Red brick areas are fast disappearing in Coimbatore. The brick kilns in the outskirts of the city are committing some serious illegal quarrying by digging up the red sand from patta lands. Experts from the mining department have warned that the red sand reserves wouldn’t last for more than five years. While states like Kerala have alternative building materials, Coimbatore’s construction industry desperately depends on these bricks.

With the rising demand for construction material, the brick making industry is now struggling to meet the requirements of the growing market. According to the mining department of Coimbatore, Kanuvai, Thadagam, Periyanaickenpalayam, Mettupalayam,and Annaikatti are the places where plenty of red brick industries found. Brick makers are permitted to dig the red sand only up to 3 feet. But the chamber workers are illegally digging up to 10 to 15 feet.

Private red brick chamber manufacturer Mohan Raj told Covai Post that red soil is the main raw material for making brick. The sand is fast depleting. “We have the permit to dig only up to 3 feet, but even before we start digging, the pits are already 8 feet deep!

How does that become a violation of law?” he asked. “Each chamber has to pay an annual fee of Rs.28000 for obtaining the mining permissions. Only those who don’t pay the fee should be considered as violators. The depths of the red sand quarries should be measured first. Anyone who digs more than three feet shall be fined,” said a senior
official of the geology and mining department.

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