BERHAMPUR: Villagers of Bholasingi under Chikiti block have demanded ban on sand mining from the bed of Bahuda river passing through the village. They took out a rally on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum demanding cancellation of sand mining lease, to the Collector through block officer of Chatrapur.
The Revenue Department has leased out a portion of the river for sand mining for five years from 2015 to 2020 in lieu of `22 lakh. The lessee has engaged hundreds of trucks to lift sand, which is going on unabated for the last three years. Villagers have been opposing it as they depend on the river for their water requirements. Besides, continuous sand mining has altered the river bed and eroded its bank. While the lessee stopped mining following the recent flood, it has now been resumed.
Apprehending that mining would lead to more ecological imbalance, the villagers blocked the village main road on Tuesday for five hours. The blockade was lifted after officials concerned assured the agitators that the matter will be placed before the District Collector. However, as no step was taken, villagers submitted the memorandum to the Collector.