BALASORE: The hostility of mafias from the border villages in West Bengal resurfaced once again on Wednesday as they stopped passenger boat services from Kuanrpur ferry ghat in Jaleswar block of Balasore district after the locals protested illegal lifting of sand from Subarnarekha river bank.
Tension continued to prevail in the river side villages since Sunday after locals prevented the mafias from lifting sand through sump pumps days after the officials of both the States banned such illegal activities that led to river erosion. The sand smugglers threatened not to allow boat services till they are opposed for lift sand.
After the July 7 talks between the authorities of Balasore district and West Midnapore district of West Bengal, the boat services though had resumed on July 9, the mafias forcibly stopped it after they were denied extraction of precious sand from the river bed.
During the talks though it was decided that none can lift sand from the either side of the river without the permission of the concerned officials and action would be initiated against the persons responsible for violating the law, after a lull of two days the mafia started lifting sand through sump pumps.
Sources said residents in at least 15 villages are dependent on the WB markets as these are close to their habitation. Usually vegetable farmers in these villages depend on Dantun market to sell their produces. While Dantun market is 4 km from the areas, Jaleswar is about 20 km.
Collector Sanatan Mallik said he had already spoken to his West Midnapore counterparts and they have assured him to take legal action against the violators. Things would be smooth soon, he added.