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'To stop illegal activities': Sand policy in Odisha soon

Criticising the government inaction over the issue, BJP and Congress members demanded that a policy should be formulated to curb illegal sand mining. 

Published: 27th February 2021 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2021 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

Sand mining underway at the riverbed. (Representational Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Assembly witnessed noisy scenes during the question hour on Friday with members cutting across party lines expressing concern over sand smuggling in the State. 

Criticising the government inaction over the issue, BJP and Congress members demanded that a policy should be formulated to curb illegal sand mining. 

Speaker SN Patro also expressed concern over the matter and asked Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi why the government has no specific policy for lifting sand from different rivers.

Sand is under minor mineral category and should be regularised, he said and added that in his Assembly constituency, sand is lifted and smuggled to Andhra Pradesh.

“Therefore to stop the illegal activity, the government should formulate a policy,” he said.

The Minister said the government is in the process of consultation with different stakeholders and will soon formulate a policy in this regard. 

Stating that a decision was taken on April 11, 2018 for deploying police to check sand theft from different rivers, the Minister said it could not be implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He said the government has already identified 144 tehsils in the state as sensitive areas. Special squads consisting of officials, including revenue inspectors, have been formed in those areas to keep a check on the illegal activities, he added.



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