CUTTACK: The National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s east zone bench in Kolkata has endorsed a plan where no mining activity will be done by 23 black/building stone quarries operating on Sri Jagannath temple land.
Instead, renovation, reclamation and restitution of the excavated areas in these quarries will be undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 12 crore, as per the plan drawn up by Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) after discussion with the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
Accordingly, the bench of B. Amit Sthalekar (judicial member) and Saibal Dasgupta (expert member) has directed SJTA to deposit Rs 12 crore with the Khurda collector to complete the entire work within four months by constituting a committee for the purpose.
Bidu Bhusan Harichandan, a resident of Nijigarh Tapang, filed the petition alleging illegal stone mining in nearly 500 acre of temple land in Khurda district.
In its final order released on Monday the NGT approved the plan for restoration of the excavated areas in 23 quarries by reclaiming them with pulverised fly ash and to take up afforestation immediately.
“An Action Taken Report on affidavit shall be filed by the district collector, Khurda by March 31, 2023,” the bench also said while disposing of the petition.
The tribunal had earlier constituted a joint committee to look into the allegations in the petition, to which it confirmed of illegal quarrying.