Locals Protest Illegal Sand-Mining

Sand mafias are illegally lifting sand from river beds without environmental clearance

Published: 05th February 2014 09:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2014 09:33 AM   |  A+A-


Large number of locals protested the illegal sand mining at river Luna of Basapur village under Patkura police limits here on Tuesday. They also stopped the sand lifting work by some persons with the help of JCB machines.

Many villagers alleged that some sand mafias, hand in glove with ruling party politicians, have been illegally lifting sand from the river bed.

“Illegal sand mining is going on at river Luna with the help of mafia groups plundering the river bed in connivance with  officials,'' said Aparajita Jena of Basapur.

Unauthorised sand mining is rampant in the riverside villages of Basapur, Karilopatana, Aitapur, Jalapoka, Bahakhandia, Karandia, Rankala, Kulasahi and other villages. '

'It is mostly being carried out in about six places from the river bed of Luna. Since every day heavy tractors and trucks carry sand from the village, the roads have been damaged beyond repair. Moreover, sand heaps have deposited throughout the villages,'' said Prakash Jena, an environmentalist and the secretary of Evergreen Forum.

Despite orders of district administration to continue sand-mining only in certain areas, mafias are indiscriminately exploiting all the areas, alleged Hemanta Mallick of Basapur. Instances of clashes between the mafia over sand lifting have increased too.

Sub-Collector, Kendrapara, Pratap Kumar Mishra said ''We have stopped illegal work and directed all the sand lifters to obtain environment clearance from the Government before lifting as per the recent order of the National Green Tribunal”.

On August 14, 2013, National Green Tribunal pronounced a significant order restraining sand mining without proper environmental clearance.

But in many parts of Kendrapara district, large number of sand mafias have been illegally lifting sand from the river beds without getting any environmental clearance, alleged Gayadhar Dhal the secretary of the district unit of Krusaka Sabha.


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