Posing threat to old bridge over Budhabalanga river in Odisha , JCBs lift sand unabated
Local residents alleged that sand lifting has been going on with the help of JCB machines, which are not allowed near the columns of the bridge due to the threat they pose.
BARIPADA: Despite direction from the Mayurbhanj administration and the Revenue department, illegal sand mining has been going on unhindered from around the 500-metre radius of the protected columns supporting the bridge over Budhabalanga river in the district.
Local residents alleged that sand lifting has been going on with the help of JCB machines, which are not allowed near the columns of the bridge due to the threat they pose. They claimed that since there was a nexus between the Revenue officials and the sand mafia, more than 50 tractors are engaged in transporting sand every day.
The constant lifting of sand from the bed of Budhabalanga poses a threat to the residents of Madhuban in Baripada municipality and Poda-Astia under Shamakhunta block, as it makes the river vulnerable to flooding, course change and landslides.
Contacted, Baripada tehsildar Bikram Kishor Parida said illegal sand mining was going on as the officers concerned were busy conducting urban local body (ULB) polls. “But we will take immediate action on this,” Parida promised.
Earlier, after a video of illegal sand mining with the use of JCB machines had gone went viral, lifting of sand was stopped for a few days after the district administration intervened.