False news spread in International Media by vested interest reporters – Detailed reply with statutory documents to establish BSM Industries are running in accordance with law.

As a part of Sandhya’s false propaganda against Indian Beach Mineral Industry, one reporter from France by Name Cecile Schilis-Gallego asked some information about beach mineral Industry.

My name is Cécile Schilis-Gallego, I’m a journalist with Forbidden Stories. Forbidden Stories is an international consortium of journalists that collaborates with major news outlets including, among others, The Guardian, France Télévisions, WDR, Le Monde, Radio France, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit. We pursue investigations of journalists who have been threatened, jailed or killed”.

The above said words will establish that, she was misguided by Sandhya Ravishankar about beach mineral industry. Fortunately she also confirmed that,  the reply will be given due wait-age in the article. Accordingly, VV Mineral Manager Mr.Sakthi Ganapathi send detailed mail with strong evidences for the questions. Hope they will publish the same as it is in their article. Let us wait and see whether their acting fair and consciously or they are also under the control of Sandhya Ravishankar.

Copy of mail and the annexurs supporting the reply send the reporter Cecile is given below for our members as well as general public information.

Mail to Forbidden

Anx-2Anx 3

Anx -4Anx-5



Anx -8





Concrete reply for false allegations about beach mineral industry

Everyone knows that, some vested interest people are working against this beach mineral industry.  Some of the media reporters were misguided by vested interest media people like Sandhya Ravishankar. Accordingly one Mr.Ashish Malhotra from The Guardian approached our member VV Mineral for an interview.  Fortunately Mr. Jonathan Watts, Global Environment Editor, The Guardian as well as Ashish Malhotra confirmed that VV Mineral side also will be published equally.  Hence detailed reply send to them refuting all the false allegation along with documentary evidences. The following points are explained in detail with evidence from statutory authorities.

          1) There is no Coastal Erosion due to the beach mineral mining. Particularly there is no erosion in the private companies mining lease areas. Moreover sea erosion is a world wide problem. The main reason is Global warming. Even in India, more than 40% of the beaches are affected for various reasons.


         2) The mining lease area and processing plants minimum 500 meter away from habitation. No employees or the owners who are residing adjacent processing plants are not affected either chronic Kidney disease or by cancer or by any other disease. The Kidney disease is common all over the world. In Japan for one million people 20 dialysis centre are available. Whereas in India it is only five. All over India average 17% of the population affected by Chronic Kidney disease (reasons are given in detail). Worldwide out of one lakh people 78 people are affected by cancer. In Tamilnadu Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, Coimbatore alone the first four places cancer affected districts, where there is no beach mineral mining.


           3) No land is acquired by any private mining company. Only government companies alone initiate land acquisition at rock bottom price.


         4) The stoppage of mining operation did not prevent export of mineral which has already suffered royalty. Only royalty suffered mineral alone exported during the mining stoppage period. Export does not comes under the purview of MMDR Act – confirmed by Govt., of India, Ministry of Mines.


          5) No personal attack or threat to any type of public or media people. Even against the paid news reporters Sandhya herself also only legal action is initiated through court of law. Various cases are pending in various courts. The case filed by Sandhya Ravi Shankar against VV Mineral was dismissed by the court.


Copy of mail send to The Guardian along with attachments are given below for the general public as well as our members information. Let as wait to see whether both sides will be published or  as usual some other new stories created by Sandhya is published.



From: S Vaikundarajan <vaikundarajan@vvgroup.biz>
Date: Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 11:19 AM
Subject: Re: Interview request
To: Ashish Malhotra <ashish.z.malhotra@gmail.com>
Cc: Jonathan Watts <llamalad@gmail.com>, Jon Watts <jon.watts@theguardian.com>


Dear Mr. Ashish Malhotra,

Its funny to see how reputed magazines such as yours are easily deceived by someone like Mrs.Sandhya Ravishankar.  Your question pattern clearly reveals that you are being misguided and are working closely with our competitor Mr.Daya Devadas who has a nexus with Mrs.Sandhya Ravishankar and Mr.Kumaresan, who thrives purely by threatening people for money.  I also understand you are seen along with the competitors, Sons of my brother Mr.Kumaresan (Mr.Sudharson /Mr.Sundaresan) and few of their henchmen in Tuticorin.  So, I have little faith in the fairness of your story. 

For your kind information, the only one mining company that has been proven to do illegal mining is someone named Daya Devadas, from Indian Garnet sand company and Southern Enterprises whose operation was shut in 2011, for which he is retaliating against other mineral producers in this industry.  Persons like Sandhya Ravishankar are only aiding this process.  So, please do your homework on the persons who are helping your so-called investigative story.  Sandhya who claims herself a hero and revolutionary against mining industry, has not written a single word about Daya Devadas or this illegal mining activity.  That should tell you something. You can find out government order determine the mining leases of our competitor for illegal mining in https://www.beachminerals.org/large-scale-illegal-mining-major-violations-tamilnadu-govt-determine-mining-lease-granted-southern-enterprises-belongs-dayadevadas-claim-president-federation-o/  and in https://www.beachminerals.org/39-lakhs-m-ton-illegal-minor-southern-enterprises-special-leave-petition-dismissed-honourable-supreme-court-02-02-2015-vide-slp-cc-nos-740-7412015/

Nevertheless I strongly believe reputed magazine like Guardian will make sure the story goes unbiased with versions of all people and their views.   You have also confirmed the same in your previous email and so here are my replies :


Your Question:

1)  Villagers say the mine has caused coastal erosion? Do you accept this and what have you done to prevent this and compensate those affected. 

Our reply :  All over the world coastal erosion is a serious problem. The main reason is Global Warming etc., The coastal mining leases are granted in southern districts like Tirunelveli, Tuticorin Districts in selective pockets to private parties with proper CRZ Clearance, where there is no sea erosion or damage to the shore.  But even in non-mining lease area, sea erosion is a serious problem. For example Rameswaram and Nagapattinam Districts and Ennore near Chennai. Due to business motive, our competitor company owns to Dhaya devadas who have political influence in the previous Central Govt., engaged some Retd. officials to spread rumours against this industry. None of our mine lease area is affected by sea erosion.

For your information, India has more than 7500 Kms length of coastline, whereas 1350 kms coastline has been reported to be affected by sea erosion. This has been confirmed by Govt., of India, Coastal Erosion directorate. (copy attached).

“As much as 45% of India’s 8,414-km long coastline is facing erosion, according to a new study based on satellite data over 15 years, published in the Indian Academy of Science’s journal Current Science.

The study–the most detailed thus far–also reports that close to 19% of the coastline is stable and about 36% is showing accretion, or expansion. The Indian coast has lost a net area of about 73 sq km.

Scientists from Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad and Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, compared satellite images from two time periods–1989-91 and 2004-06–to measure the changes to India’s coastline.

Source : https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/45-of-india-s-coastline-facing-erosion-115081200513_1.html

If you go through the above picture you can find out that, in Tamilnadu area under accretion is 42.6 km and area under erosion 17.2 km alone. Moreover all the states, were no beach mineral mining also severely affected by sea erosion.  The renowned scientist Stephen Hakkins recorded that by 2600, our Globe will become fire ball. This is because of increase of population and abnormal usage of powers etc.,

Source :  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/07/stephen-hawking-humans-will-turn-earth-into-a-giant-ball-of-fire-by-2600.html

One fisherman village Panchayat President herself has reported that there is no adverse effect consequent on beach sand mining. According to her voice, there is well planned false propaganda only with malicious intention.  The concerned video and audio recording are already in possession of the Ministry of Environment and Forests of Govt. of India.  We are also in possession of the same and that we have put out the wordings in our website.   You are invited to visit this site  https://www.beachminerals.org/fisherman-community-people-supporting-beach-mineral-mining-manavalakurichi-town-panchayat-president-confirm/  to find out the veracity of this reply.

“ A scientific study by the coastal erosion control directorate (CECD) nullifies the common         allegation that beach mineral sand mining is the major reason for sea erosion in southern          Tamil Nadu.

Disclosing this to DC, Dr A.G. Murugesan, scientist at Sri Paramakalyani Cen­ter of Environmental Sc­ie­nces, Manonmaniam Sun­da­ranar University, quoting the CECD report of the Union ministry of earth sciences, said waves and high tidal attacks, monsoonal vagaries, unpl­an­n­ed coastal protection projects like the breakwaters and fishing harbours were mentioned as the major reasons for sea erosion in the coastal regions of India.

The study ruled out beach sand mining, for industrial purpose, as a major threat to the shoreline, as beach mineral mining leases have been granted only for about 40 km in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andra Pradesh and Odisha.

The study, done in the entire 7,516-km-long coastline extending from Gujarat in the west coast to West Bengal in the east coast, has identified 1,350 km that are vulnerable to sea erosion.
Prof Murugesan said the CECD study has disclosed the truth that the mined areas in the coastline have been replenished due to constant tidal action.

Quoting the study, he pointed out that “Beach mineral mining has no connection with seawater intrusion that is primarily caused by overexploitation of groundwater.”

Concurring with Prof Murugesan, an official source at the Tamil Nadu water supply and drainage board said Thoothukudi city, around which no beach sand mining activity has been carried out for about 30 km on either side (north and south) of its coastline, has salty groundwater for about 10 km from the coast.

Referring to the case of Uvari in Tirunelveli district, where sea erosion was very severe, it has been said the region is located in the high erosion stretches, where erosion was not a recent phenomenon. Sea erosion was said to have been severe in Uvari even before mining leases were granted.

According to local fisherman Michael Adiyan, the original Kappal Matha church at Uvari was completely eroded in the early ‘50s, even before the advent of the beach sand mineral companies in the area.

Source : http://www.deccanchronicle.com/131211/news-current-affairs/article/mining-does-not-lead-sea-erosion%E2%80%88study

This being the fact, it is quite silly to point our heavy mineral mining which is done probably in total of 15 kms (out of 8500 KMs of Indian coastline), in some coats of TN, AP and Kerala is the reason for it.  In fact even in this 15 kms stretch, most of the mining is done atleast 500 metres away from shoreline in some case extending to 4 kms away from shoreline.  How can this be a reason? 

Also since 2013, no heavy mineral mining is happening in TN, has it stopped sea erosion?  Well learned journalist such as you can easily apply your mind on such silly accusations.  Out of total  85 mining leases in entire India, hardly 3-4 mining leases can access close to shoreline.  So, its quite obvious this is a false propaganda done by our competitors.  For your information non of our mining lease area is affected by sea erosion. In fact, our company is helping in reducing Global warming. Please visit : http://www.icontrolpollution.com/articles/role-of-vvmineral-in-reducing-global-warming-throughgreen-mining-technology-of-garnet.pdf

Your question :

2)  Villagers allege that the beach mining has led to an uptick in health problems in the nearby region, including kidney disease and cancer? They feel that water in the area has been contaminated by your activities, and that the dust they have inhaled from the mining has also affected their health. How do you respond?

Our reply :

Our own houses are close to the beach mineral factory. In our mines and factory, more than 4600 employees were working. None of the employee affected either by Kidney disease or cancer. This has been proven by the yearly medical check up taken among the employees.  Moreover our mining area and processing plants are minimum 500 meters away from the habitation. According to the Director General of Mines Safety norms, 200 meter distance enough. Whereas, we have kept 500 meters distance from the habitation. Then how it is possible?

All the mining companies in TN and AP employ dry mining methods, which can’t mine below water table.  The dry mining is simple excavation mining where there is no drilling, blasting, bore holing, tunnelling, chemical process, etc. none of which is used.  This being the case, where is the process of water contamination?  In fact, since all the private companies have stopped mining in TN since 2013 and mining in AP has been stopped since 2018, the only ones operating are the Indian Government company named IREL who is operating their mine in TN, Kerala and Orissa.  Perhaps it would be an eye opener of you to visit their mining areas and interview the locals around their operation.  In fact people are celebrating their operation for the employment they provide. 

Unless you crush any mineral or drill for any mineral, there is no question of dust as well.  For your information,  out of all the 7-8 beach sand producers in India only we have valid environmental clearance and valid pollution Control board consent under Air Act and Water Act. Even Central Govt., company also does not have the same clearances. Since your partner Sandhya Ravishankar’s target is Vaikundarajan and V.V.Mineral, you are not speaking about the government company which is running without valid clearance. Perhaps you should dig more on the clearances obtained by IREL (Central Government company) and bring the truth to the open forum.  Such a pity, Sandhya’s target is not them, but us. 

Cancer and Kidney diseases are common all over the world and are not limited to any specific areas. In fact, especially near Kerala, where IREL’s operation exists, naturally occurring beach sands contain the radioactive mineral named monazite in high percentage. Even there, Epidemiological studies on the cancer incidence rate carried out in these areas indicate no cases of health problems, cancer or kidney failure in these areas which can be attributed to the background radiation levels. In fact Government has regulations to maintain the back ground radiation levels in all the coastline areas.  This is the study report by Government of India available in https://aerb.gov.in/images/PDF/f1.pdf  (Page 54)

Given below are a few devastating statistics about chronic kidney failure in India.

  1. 17%of Indians have some form of chronic kidney disease. This figure was reached that in a study conducted by Harvard Medical School in partnership with 13 medical centres  all over India. One third of the above people have advanced stages of the disease.
  2. There are 60 million people with diabetes in India, more than any other nation on the planet. Sadly, the majority of them are either  not diagnosed or poorly treated.
  3. At least30% of diabetics will develop chronic kidney disease because of diabetes.
  4. People with the last stage of kidney failure (technically called Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 5 or CKD-5) require dialysis and/or kidney transplantation as a life sustaining treatment. 40 % of such patients would have developed kidney failure because of diabetes.
  5. 2,00,000 new patients need dialysis treatment every year in India.  but the unfortunate reality is that only 10 to 20% of them get proper treatment.  The remaining are either not diagnosed or unable to continue proper treatment.
  6. Statistics suggest that there should be almost 20,00,000people on dialysis in India a sof today. The reality is that there are only about 1,00,000. The rest have been lost due to non-diagnosis and non-treatment.
  7. The majority of chronic kidney failure patients are diagnosed in the last stage. Though proper statistics are not available, it is accepted that almost 50%first see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) only in the last stage.
  8. There are0.4 dialysis centers per million population in India. By contrast, Japan has 20 dialysis  centres  per million  population.
  9. Only4,000 kidney transplants are  performed every year in India. The United States  with one fourth the population of India performs 16,000 such operations per year.
  10. Kidney failure can affect people of any age group. While in the west, the majority of patients are elderly, in India kidney failure patients are much younger and affects predominantly the working population.
  11. High salt consumption (dry fish) or any foods with high salt consumption can also be a pointed as a contributor to Kidney problems

Source : https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/some-devastating-statistics-about-chronic-kidney-failure-in-india-10945/post

Cancer in Tamilnadu

Tamil Nadu State Cancer Prevention and Control policy is being developed with specific focus on prevention, early detection, screening, treatment including high end facilities, follow up and palliative care. Proposed for implementation over ten years period, it is envisaged that Tamil Nadu will have a functional system of cancer control with a network of equitably accessible ‘State of Art’ cancer treatment facilities which would reduce the cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality rates in relation to other States by 2030. Around 55,000 new cancer cases are identified every year in Tamil Nadu. It is higher among women (84 per one lakh) than men (65 per one lakh) in the age group of (35–64) years amounting to 1 in 13 people running a life time risk of developing cancer. As per Cancer Registry, high incidence of cancers is observed in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, Coimbatore and Kanyakumari districts.”

Source : http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/documents/hfw_e_pn_2017_18_0.pdf  (Page 231 and 232)

The said Tamilnadu Government report is available in government portal. You can find out that, districts like Tirunelveli, Tuticorin were private beach mineral mining leases are granted are not in the first three places. All over the India out of one lakh, average 78 people are affected by Cancer. You can find out the same from the reply to parliament question no. 647.  The following picture will establish the various reasons for cancer.

Source : https://www.thebetterindia.com/74188/cancer-awareness-india/

So please get your facts right before you are being deceived or misguided by someone like Sandhya Ravishankar or Mr.Kumaresan or Mr.Daya Devadas.

So, stopping the mining in 2013 in TN must be a boon for the coastal regions since they are relieved from the kidney and cancer problems?  According to Sandhya atleast this must be true. 

Your Question:

3) Villagers allege that land for the mining was acquired illegally/without their consent? How do you respond?

Our Reply

More than 90% of the mining leases are in our own land. We are not approaching for land acquisition either government or through other sources. Only Govt., companies alone acquire land for mining. Whereas in our cases, we purchase the land who are ready to sell their land and based on the sale document we purchase the land and transfer the name and get the mining lease.  Though this method is slow and inefficient, we win over the support of the land owners who gets paid in market price.  But this method has its own de-merits as well.  Ill minded fraudsters will threaten the company to acquire their land at an exaggerated price (atleast 20 times the market price) or else they will spread negative publicity against the companies.  We have faced such personalities too, who is still threatening us to buy their land a high price.  Unfortunately they also have friends like Sandhya Ravishankar who can help them extort money from beach mineral producers. 

Someone by the name Mr.Saravanakumar who tried to get money from us on this method and he give a complaint and file a case and give media exposure for that to get money. His attempt was failed and my legal battle finally give victory after 7 years. When our Manager came to Tuticorin along with my brother Kumaresan’s son, this gentlemen also seen with you. So, this question specifically wants to favour him.  Please remember he has already filed complaint in the police land grabbing cell and approach judicial magistrate and District Judge and finally approach the High Court. All courts dismissed his claim.  So, he is trying his best to do a smear campaign on us.  Other than that, we have always won support of public. 

Your question :

4)  An expert report filed in court says you continued the international export of minerals after a ban on mining and new transport permits was issued in 2013. How do you respond?

Our reply :   Please note that is not expert report. The Tamilnadu Government stopped the mining operation and stoppage of transport permit during 2013 without any jurisdiction and without following the statutory requirement for political reasons to fix up us.  Without any alternate remedy, I approached the Honourable High Court and the Honourable High Court set-aside the order of the State Government.  Now the State Govt., filed appeal and the appeal is still pending.  The Tamilnadu Government stopped the mining operation alone. There is no ban for export of existing royalty paid minerals, as, already the Honourable Supreme Court in Cavery Chetty case clearly decided that, once royalty is paid, the State has no control over the mineral. Moreover export of mineral does not comes under the purview of Mines Act. Government of India Ministry of Mines itself clarified the same vide its letter No.16/01/2016-M-VI dated 10.10.2016 (copy attached). Once in every three months after 2013, the State Govt., itself get the export figure from the Port to verify whether these all are royalty paid minerals or not. We have paid royalty for 98 lakhs M.Tons from 2001 to 2013. After export until 2016, we have approximately 36 lakhs M.Ton of royalty paid minerals in various stages. The High Court appointed Sahoo Committee also confirmed the correctness of our stock.

If you inform the name of the expert and the nature of the report, I can able to furnish full and correct reply with documentary evidence to establish that, the report you have mentioned is not correct.

Your question :

5) Villagers say they have faced attack, threat and intimidation as a result of speaking out against mining. The journalist Sandhya Ravishankar also says she has faced threats and intimidation because of her reporting. How do you respond? Specifically, she says CCTV footage of her meeting with a source was leaked. Was your company involved in this leak?

Our reply :  Please be informed Sandhya Ravishankar has personal enemity against our company.  Our business group also owns a reputed local TV News Media since 2014.  During its initial phase, Mr.Prem shankar (none other than Ms.Sandhya ravishankar’s husband) approached us to manage the media operation.  But we denied the opportunity.  There started the enmity.  She started her partnership with Daya Devadas only after that. 

Please note no village people is against the mining operation. Only the vested interest people who are working under Sandhya Gang alone speaking against mining.  For your information, you can find out the video in www.beachminerals.org/videos  Where in the video, you can find out even an Retd. IAS officer are working under the instruction of our competitors and they gave interview against us as per the advice of our competitor. Also a person Anton from one Fisherman village to whom our competitor is educating how to show emotions to spread false message against us, when talking to media can also be seen.  It is similar set of people who are misguiding you. 

Like I told you before, Sandhya represents our competitor Daya devadas who was found doing illegal mining and their operation was shut in 2011.  He couldn’t bear the thought of other producers continuing to capture the market share, he took it upon himself and determined to bring down the entire industry.  Slowly he launched smear campaign against us in 2013, instigated the then Government to bring mining ban.  Since then he has been continuing the attack this industry and all the producers with baseless and false accusations.  Sandhya is one of his close aid.  We initially thought she was fair and unbiased, met her few times, provided with all the counter facts on accusations made by our competitors.  But she chose to ignore it and carry only the competitors false versions.  So, we have in fact filed two defamation suit against her.  This has only made her furious to continue with her personal attack on us.

We strictly believe in taking only legal action through court of law.  Already two criminal cases pending against her in Judicial Magistrate court and one case is pending in the High Court, and she herself filed a case against me in the City Civil Court, Chennai when we filed detailed counter to scrap the plaint, the Honourable City civil court, Chennai accept our plea and scrap her plaint and dismissed the case filed by her in O.S.No. 1649 of 2017. 

We are a reputed organisation and always taken a legal recourse for any of the issues we face.  Threatening the journalist is the last thing we will do.  Can she provide one evidence to prove this?   She can’t. 

I pity her situation because she has been jumping media organisations for every 3-4 months and she tries to use that media to support Mr.Daya devadas by writing false information about other producers.  We explain the facts to the media group or editors and they warn Sandhya.  She jumps to the next one and tries the same.  This is a cycle. 

Suddenly one day she started accusing us of threatening (without any proof of course) and we wanted to learn why.  On asking around, we found that, she doesn’t have a good reputation in the press club for she was taking sides in their election process and many senior journalist didn’t like that.   When entire TN was supporting Jallikattu festival, she was openly commenting against it when staunch TN social media users troller her.  She conveniently played the victim card accusing that against us.  Jallikattu or her press club issue has nothing for us and we have no affair to intervene or comment her role.  Some random comments made in social media by random guy has to do with us?  She hasn’t done any legal stories to support her, so she has to thrive by playing victim card against beach mineral industry. 

Even the videos of her meeting the so-called source was widely spread in social media (even a reputed whistle blower Savukku published it in his timeline).  He claimed Sandya was visiting Ex-DGP to misguide DMK using his closeness to DMK.  So that also was blamed on us.  In fact someone in social media picked up the video from social media and sent to us saying Sandhya was meeting to conspire against us.  We can only ignore such things. 

Please apply some logic my friend and provide us a concrete proof so that we have something to answer to. 

But I must tell you, it is a big nexus in which Sandya is involved in and they have the habit of publishing a story every time a court hearing for this beach mineral case comes to court.  Their intention is only to cause pre-judice against us in the minds of the judges, so that justice can be delayed. 

One of my employee who manage one personal blog http://vetri3337.blogspot.in/.    You can find lot of information about Sandhya Ravishankar.  Also please ask your so-called sources, friends of Sandya or even Sandya why they conveniently forgot to talk to Daya devadas or their illegal mining in 2011.  I am sure she never disclosed the fact that her husband was denied an opportunity in our group.  With personal enmity and history in the past, do you think she will give a fair opinion on us?  You are being used to fulfil her vengeance.  Please take a clear call.

I hope your story will be based on the above said five points. As promised, please publish my side reply also.  I still count you will do fairness to your journalism which is the fourth pillar of democracy.  Any deviation from my reply or misrepresentation will only push us to take legal recourse. 

Coastal erosion dierctorate lr

Export of Mineral does not comes under MMDR Act – MOM RTI lr – 10.10.16

With kind regards

S. Vaikundarajan 


On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 11:35 PM Ashish Malhotra <ashish.z.malhotra@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Mr Vaikundarajan,

Thanks for your email. I do not know Mr Kumaresaran’s sons or employees, and we would have conducted the interview on that day had we heard from you directly.

In any case, we are glad to hear you’re interested in the interview. However, as we have told you before, our deadlines are quite tight, which is why we have been trying to schedule this interview with you for more than one week. We have really tried our best throughout this time to meet you and get answers from you. But now our deadline is fast approaching. It is in fact, this coming Monday morning. I tried to call you quite a few times this afternoon/evening to try and ask you the questions in the most timely manner possible, but I was not able to get through. I am sending you them now here in an email, but as I said, please keep in mind that we need answers as soon as possible because our deadline is Monday morning. We cannot wait until the dates you have suggested, and hope to get an email response from you with the answers before Monday.

Below are some questions for my article for The Guardian. But as I have mentioned before, we are working in collaboration with many other journalists, and I do believe that some of them have reached out to you with separate questions. Please keep in mind that we would possibly use some of your answers to those in our story for The Guardian as well.

1) Villagers say the mine has caused coastal erosion? Do you accept this and what have you done to prevent this and compensate those affected. 

2) Villagers allege that the beach mining has led to an uptick in health problems in the nearby region, including kidney disease and cancer? They feel that water in the area has been contaminated by your activities, and that the dust they have inhaled from the mining has also affected their health. How do you respond?

3) Villagers allege that land for the mining was acquired illegally/without their consent? How do you respond?

4)  An expert report filed in court says you continued the international export of minerals after a ban on mining and new transport permits was issued in 2013. How do you respond?

5) Villagers say they have faced attack, threat and intimidation as a result of speaking out against mining. The journalist Sandhya Ravishankar also says she has faced threats and intimidation because of her reporting. How do you respond? Specifically, she says CCTV footage of her meeting with a source was leaked. Was your company involved in this leak?

Hope to hear from you soon.




———- Forwarded message ———
From: Jon Watts <jon.watts@theguardian.com>
Date: Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: Interview request
To: S Vaikundarajan <vaikundarajan@vvgroup.biz>
Cc: Ashish Malhotra <ashish.z.malhotra@gmail.com>

Mr Vaikundarajan,

Thanks for your prompt reply.
Our main mission and duty as journalists is to report stories in a fair and balanced way. As you have discussed with our team on the ground, we want to spend as much time as possible with you to make sure you can answer all questions/criticisms people may ask or make about you and your companies. We can assure you that your positions and views will be reflected in our story and that your quotes will be used accurately and verbatim. We are seeking your input because we know the importance of the minerals you work with to the modern economy and want to have your input as an entrepreneur, not just in response to allegations others may have made about you. We appreciate your concerns and understand that your request comes after a long and complex legal battle including with competitors.
Please let me know directly if there are any other concerns you have. Our team has travelled a long way to meet you today and it would be a shame if there would be no interview after all the email and phone exchanges you have had with them.

Best regards



Jonathan Watts

Global Environment Editor
Jonathan Watts

Global Environment Editor

The Guardian
Office +44-203-3533773
Mobile +44-7384241100

FIMI urges govt to lift beach sand mining ban on private firms

FIMI urges govt to lift beach sand mining ban on private firms

In its latest report “Mining Matters for India”, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries said the ban has put a large number of jobs at stake.

Beach sand mining ban on private players has resulted in loss of exports worth Rs 4,000 crore and Rs 5,000 crore in revenue, mining body FIMI has said, demanding rescinding the order.

In its latest report “Mining Matters for India”, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) said the ban has put a large number of jobs at stake.

“In the case of beach sand minerals (BSM), private sector has been debarred for mining, putting numerous jobs at stake and depriving the country of revenue to the extent of Rs 5,000 crore and exports of about Rs 4,000 crore annually,” FIMI said in its latest report.

At present, only government companies are allowed to engage in beach sand mining after the Ministry of Mines vide a notification in February this year banned the private players.

“The Government should improve the regulatory mechanism and private sector should be continued to be allowed for mining of beach sand minerals and the Ministry of Mines notification…barring private sector should be rescinded,” it said.

The report also highlights FIMI’s demand for considering mining as an ‘Independent Activity’, and not as captive to any downstream metal industry such as steel, aluminium, etc.

“While mining is a business of volumes, captive mining limits the scale of mining, neglects mineral exploration limited to plant requirement, leads to selective mining and wastage of resources,” the report said.

The private sector in future should be the main source of investment in reconnaissance, exploration and mining with right to seamless transition, transferability with security of tenure, it said adding, the government agencies such as GSI, MECL etc may continue to perform the exploration and surveys on regional basis and in areas where private investment is not forthcoming.

“The Government of India should create a level playing field for both private (captive and non-captive) and Government sector companies in terms of tenure of leases, area selection, etc,” it added.

Much of the contribution made by the mining industry to ensure raw material security for India’s sustainable growth has not received the due attention of the stake-holders and society at large, it said.

FIMI also demanded that the contribution of mining should be viewed in light of the multiplier effect it has across the entire economy and not just its monetary contribution to GDP.

The industry body is committed to contribute to the sustained growth of the mineral sector in a sustainable manner for economic growth, raw material security of the country and socio-economic development particularly in remote and tribal areas, it said, and urged the government to initiate steps to ensure its rightful position as a growth engine in the economy and unlock the full potential of the Indian mineral sector.