CUTTACK: The alleged illegal stone quarrying at Satadhangudi hill in Sanakhemundi tehsil of Ganjam district has come under the National Green Tribunal (NGT) scanner. An expert committee constituted on Friday has been asked to submit its report within four weeks.
The committee includes senior scientists from Odisha State Pollution Control Board, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Integrated Regional Office of Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, and Ganjam Collector.
Satrughana Jena, a resident of the nearby area, had alleged that the illegal quarrying is being done within 5 km radius of Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The illegal stone mining operations are being carried out within 500 metre of residential houses.
Illegal and uncontrolled blasting for stone mining over the past four to five years had resulted in damages/cracks to the houses at Patigudan village, the petition alleged. The NGT’s east zone bench in Kolkata felt the matter requires consideration.
The bench of B Amit Sthalekar (Judicial Member) and Saibal Dasgupta (Expert Member) said, “The committee will assess the environmental degradation caused on account of illegal stone mining and loss caused to the government exchequer and also calculate the environmental compensation, if violation is found in both the mines”.
“The committee will also record whether the alleged illegal mining is within the eco-sensitive zone of the sanctuary,” the bench directed while posting the matter to August 9.