NGT Direction To Odisha Govt On Illegal Mining In Dhenkanal; Know What It Says

Cuttack: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Odisha government to make “adverse entries” in the annual confidential report (ACR) of the Dhenkanal district collector for hiding information on illegal mining and transportation of black stone through road created by clearing forest land.

As per reports, the direction was issued by the NGT’s east zone bench in Kolkata while delivering its final judgment on an application filed by Ghanashyam Rout of Rasol in Dhenkanal district.

The petitioner had sought NGT’s intervention against illegal mining by a private party in Gadanala black stone quarry under Hindol tehsil. Advocate Sankar Prasad Pani argued on behalf of the petitioner.

The collector and district magistrate of Dhenkanal had stated in an affidavit filed recently that no forest land has been cleared and no trees have been felled.

It said there is no material with the collector to initiate action against the private party and the forest land has not been used by it for transportation of minor minerals. Therefore, no criminal action has been initiated against him, the affidavit said.

However, it was found by the NGT that the claims made in the affidavit were “in sharp contrast” to the one filed earlier by the collector & district magistrate as well as the show-cause notice issued by the Hindol tehsildar to the private party.

“This clearly shows the complicity of the collector & district magistrate, Dhenkanal, with the illegal acts of Sri Soumya Ranjan Rout (private party), with the deliberate intent to shield him,” the bench comprising Justice B Amit Sthalekar (judicial member) and A Senthil Ven (expert member) observed.

“We direct adverse entries to be made in the ACR of the collector & district magistrate, Dhenkanal. A copy of this order shall be placed before the chief secretary, government of Odisha, for necessary action,” TOI reported the NGT bench as having said.

As per the rules, ACR is an assessment of the performance of every member of the service written for each financial year. The ACR is the main method of annual periodic review of the performance of civil servants in the country.

The NGT bench further directed that the 660 feet of gramya jungle road in Kadalipal mouza, tehsil (Hindol) of Dhenkanal district, shall be restored to its original form by the Dhenkanal collector and divisional forest officer (DFO), Dhenkanal, within two months.

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