NGT Seeks Affidavit From Odisha On Action For Illegal Mining

Cuttack: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Odisha government to file a fresh affidavit on action taken for illegal mining in a black stone quarry under Hindol tehsil in Dhenkanal district before September 29 this year.

The NGT has also asked the state government to provide in the affidavit details of the environmental compensation and royalty the private party is liable to pay for undertaking mining operations without consent to operate (CTO) in Gandanali black stone quarry.

Following the tribunal’s order issued on September 12 on a petition of Ghanashyam Rout, a resident of the area, the state government had earlier filed an affidavit. The petition sought intervention against illegal mining in the quarry by a private party without environmental clearance and CTO.

While the NGT’s east zone bench in Kolkata took stock of the affidavit, the petitioner’s counsel pointed out that the state authorities had stated that a road has been widened and unauthorisedly uised for transporting the mined material and mineral by the private party through village forest.

This apart, the CTO was granted to the private party only on September 29 this year, but illegal mining was going on prior to that date. The state authorities have not stated what criminal action was taken against the private party and what action was taken for computing environmental compensation as well as royalty and penalty for the illegally mined mineral prior to September 29, the counsel said.

Taking the submissions into account, the NGT bench directed the state government to file a fresh affidavit giving information on these issues.

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