NGT Seeks Report On Illegal Stone Mining In Odisha’s Khurda

Bhubaneswar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the district Collector of Khurda in Odisha to conduct an inspection over alleged illegal stone mining at a village under Tangi block and send a report in four weeks.

The Tribunal gave the order after hearing a petition filed by Dilip Kumar Samantray alleging that one person has been mining laterite stones from a quarry at Sahadaghai village illegally.

It was alleged that P Barik had permission to mine at a particular site, but he mined at 20 places looting tons of laterite stones in the process. A complaint was earlier filed in the police station against Barik in this connection. As no action was taken, the complainant approached the NGT.

The Tribunal in its order observed that environmental clearance was transferred in favour of Barik, for laterite stone quarry over an area of 6.32 acres on May 11, 2022. But Barik had started mining, prior to that date. Y Form issued on March 9, 2022 confirms illegal mining being carried out by him, it observed.

Considering the allegations made in the original application, the NGT directed the Collector & District Magistrate, Khurda, to cause an inspection of the site in question, to be carried out within four weeks and submit his report.

The inspecting team shall also include the Divisional Forest Officer, Khurda or his senior representative as well as Director of Mines and Geology, Khurda, or his senior representative, it said.

The Committee (inspecting team) will submit its report within one month and in case it finds that the allegations made are true and that illegal mining is being carried out as alleged, the District Collector will take immediate steps and pass appropriate orders to stop such illegal mining and will also determine Environmental Compensation in this regard, the NGT said.

The District Collector has been made the nodal officer for all logistical purposes.

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