JAGATSINGHPUR: As illegal sand mining continues unabated in Jagatsinghpur district even during the lockdown, the district administration has launched a massive crackdown and arrested as many as 28 persons in this connection in the last one week. Police said nearly Rs 15 lakh has been collected as fine from the owners of the vehicles seized which include 25 Hyva trucks and three tractors.
Sources said river beds of Mahanadi, Chitroptala and Devi besides other interior pockets are being mined illegally by the sand mafia prompting the administration to carry out surprise raids across the district. While five truck drivers were held in the crackdown carried out along the Mahanadi in Paradip on Sunday, seven got arrested during a raid in Kujang on Thursday. Sixteen other drivers were held in similar operations during last week while vehicle owners had to cough up fine for the illegal activity.
Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra said local tehsildars led by additional district magistrate conducted raids throughout the district at Kujang, Jagatsinghpur, Tirtol and Naugaon after receiving several complaints on illegal sand mining.