BARIPADA: With increasing allegations of rampant sand mining being carried out on Budhabalanga river bed at Madhuban, an inquiry committee comprising an additional tehsildar, revenue supervisor and revenue inspector has been formed recently to inquire into the matter and submit a report.
Baripada tehsildar Bikram Kishor Parida, on Thursday, said, the committee will conduct an on-the-spot inquiry and submit the report basing which further assessments will be conducted by geologists on mining done in excess of the limit fixed.
“Besides, we have also written to the district mining officer and other senior officials concerned to inquire and submit their report on the amount of sand lifting done on the Budhabalanga river bed even at Budhamora and Budhapal. They have been asked to submit the report soon,” Parida added.
For a long time now, resentment was brewing among the residents in the town against JCB machines being used to lift the sand in excess of the permissible limit, contravening mining rules on the river bed at Madhuban under Baripada municipality.
This is despite the district administration imposing a ban on sand lifting from within 500-meter radius of the century-old bridge over the river Budhabalanga for the safety of the pillars. The bridge links towns like Baripada, Shamakhunta, Udala and up to Nilagiri in Balasore district.
However, mining continued unabated close to the pillars, a video of which recently went viral on social media. Besides use of JCBs has resulted in big potholes on the river bed.