BALASORE: The State Government has given the green signal for extraction of sand and other minor minerals by neighbouring States within five kilometers of inter-State boundary in 14 districts.
Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management Department Mona Sharma has asked collectors of Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Gajapati and Ganjam districts to sign mutual agreements for mining of sand and other minor minerals with their counterparts in the neighbouring States.
Collectors of these districts have also been asked to visit the sairat sites of bordering areas from time to time and make arrangements to avoid any confrontation.
Earlier, the State Government had banned mining of sand and other minor minerals by the neighbouring states apprehending law and order situation.
In the letter, collectors have been asked to sign agreements with their counterparts to obtain environmental clearance from the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) for extraction of minor minerals under intimation to the Revenue Department.
As per the draft agreement, authorities of both the districts (including the one of neighbouring State) have to agree for sand mining operations or extraction of other minor minerals within five kilometers in respective area of the State concerned abutting the common State boundary without encroaching into the neighbouring State area. This is subject to obtaining environmental clearance from the respective State Government authorities.