Sand mining: ED grills WRD chief engineer
CHENNAI: Investigators from the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) grilled Water Resources Department Engineer-in-Chief and Chief Engineer (General) A Muthiah since 11.30 am on Monday in connection with an alleged money laundering case linked to river sand mining irregularities in the State and the questioning was going on till we went to press. “His statement is being video recorded,” said ED sources on Monday late evening. Muthiah was in the news after he, in a circular, asked all his engineers to cooperate with the ED officials but later withdrew his order claiming that he was forced to issue such an order. As Muthiah is currently on leave for more than a month, another officer has been posted as in-charge. The central agency had been grilling river sand mining contractors and raiding their premises besides grilling engineers of WRD in connection with the case since September this year. ED had also summoned at least 10 district collectors to get statements from them as district collectors are the final authority in each district when it comes to river sand mining. ED had claimed that it had initiated an investigation based on the FIRs filed at various parts of Tamil Nadu alleging illegal mining of river sand and gravel quarry etc. ED also said that numerous complaints were registered, with law-enforcement agencies showing that illegal mining practices are rampant across the State.