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Illegal sand mining: NGT intervention later, panel inspects two river beds

The Committee will inspect the site and submit the report within one month, the bench had ordered fixing April 22 as the next date for hearing. 

Published: 07th April 2022 06:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2022 06:33 AM   |  A+A-

Committee members interacting with locals at Badasahi on Wednesday | Express

By Express News Service

BARIPADA: Acting on the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) of East Zone bench, Kolkata, a four-member official committee, on Wednesday inspected two river beds of Budhabalanga in Badasahi block of Mayurbhanj district  following allegation of illegal sand mining in the region.

The NGT intervention came after hearing the petition of one Radha Mohan Singh, a resident of Chhelia-Pundal village who alleged illegal mining by a lessee without renewal of environmental clearance (EC) and consent to operate (CTO) besides excess mining causing huge loss to the State exchequer. 

The petitioner had pointed out that the daily mining permissible limit was nine cubic metres and annual sand mining capacity was 2,000 cubic metres but the lessee was taking out 2,295 cubic metres per day and 4.819 lakh cubic metres per year which was 240 times of the permissible limit. As a result, it was causing loss to the State exchequer to the tune of around Rs 43.68 crore considering the value of one cubic metre of sand to be Rs 1,365.

Hearing the petition, a bench of Justice B Amit Sthalekar (judicial member) and Saibal Dasgupta (expert member) on March 17, considered it appropriate to constitute a committee comprising senior scientist, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, senior scientist of Odisha State Pollution Control Board, District Magistrate Mayurbhanj or his representative not below the rank of sub-divisional magistrate of that area and district mining officer Mayurbhanj while the Odisha State Pollution Control Board shall act as the Nodal office for all logistic purposes. 

The Committee will inspect the site and submit the report within one month, the bench had ordered fixing April 22 as the next date for hearing.Accordingly, the members of the team, Badasahi tehsildar Mamtaj Maharana and other officials of revenue department and police personnel visited Arapatta and Dingira, the two beds of Budhabalanga river under Badasahi tehsil for inspection and spot assessment. 

Later, the committee also inspected Mahupura river bed of Budhabalanga after receiving information that illegal sand mining is also taking place there.Though the District Mining Officer was contacted for comment, he did not respond to calls . 



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