Odisha: NGT to probe Khondalite mining in Khurda district

The quarry within human habitation area involves operation of huge machinery for drilling and cutting which create significant amount of noise as well as air pollution.
Image of National Green Tribunal (NGT) used for representation
Image of National Green Tribunal (NGT) used for representation (File photo | Express)

CUTTACK: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a four-member committee to probe into allegations on infringement of the environmental right of the local people due to mining operations over a leasehold area of 11.45 acre at the Narayangarh khondalite stone quarry in Khurda district.

NGT’s Kolkata bench constituted the committee on Tuesday on a petition filed by Nilamani Mahapatra and other residents of Bhogapur under Narayangarh gram panchayat. Making submissions on behalf of the petitioners advocate Sankar Prasad Pani and advocate Ashutosh Padhy sought intervention against quarry operation close to residential area of ward No 3 and 7 of Bhogapur.

According to the petition more than three schools/anganwadis are located within 200 metre radius of the quarry. The quarry within human habitation area involves operation of huge machinery for drilling and cutting which create significant amount of noise as well as air pollution.

“Bhogapur is a densely populated village and the layers of dust generated from mining and its allied activities are dispersed over nearby houses and leaves of vegetation. Because of the noise pollution both during day and night, the villagers are not able to have peaceful sleep. Study of children and also ailing senior citizens are adversely affected,” the petition claimed.

“Considering the allegations made, we deem it appropriate to constitute a committee,” the bench of Sheo Kumar Singh (judicial member) and Dr. Arun Kumar Verma (expert member) said in the May 28 order, adding, “The committee shall visit the site in question and submit its report on affidavit within four weeks with regard to the allegations made in the petition.”

The committee includes district magistrate (Khurda) or his representative not below the rank of additional district magistrate and senior scientists of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). The bench fixed August 8 as next date for hearing on the matter along with the inquiry report.

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