A citizens committee in Mannar has alleged that an Australian company lied to the people when it had bought 3,000 acres of coastal land in the district at very high prices.
Speaking to the media, committee member James Jesudasan said the strip between Talaimannar and Nadukkudah had come into the possession of Titanium Sands Ltd. (TSL) between 2019 and 2021.
It had claimed the land was needed for solar power generation, but it had started mining for mineral sands, he said.
More than 4,000 pits, some as deep as 12 metres, had been dug there.
Such excavations affected the salinity of the inland water sources, Jesudasan pointed out, destroying animal life and harming the people.
Amid continuing public outcries, the Australian Company decided in March 2022 to leave.
According to TSL estimates, there are nearly 265 million tons of mineral sands in the Mannar island.
The adverse impact of mining by the Australian company was raised on 12 November 2020 in the Australian parliament.