Sand Mining In Odisha: High Court Bans Quarrying By Using Machines

Cuttack: Orissa High Court on Tuesday imposed a ban on sand quarrying on riverbed by using machines and laid down several restrictions on the operation.

The High Court made it clear that lifting of sand cannot be done using machines and said the order should be strictly enforced from Wednesday.

Environmental clearance will have to be obtained in order to undertake quarrying of sand with the help of machines.

The Court specified that sand-laden vehicles will not be allowed to ply between 7 am and 9 pm. Stringent action will be taken against people found violating the prescribed norms while quarrying sand in Odisha.

The HC issued the order while hearing of a petition filed against sand mining seeking the court’s intervention. It sought a ban on quarrying of sand in order to prevent pollution and loss of revenue.

The state government submitted an affidavit before the court stating what steps have been taken so far to prevent pollution and the loss of revenue during sand quarrying, sources said.

The High Court had last month issued an interim stay on fresh guidelines brought by the state government for regulating sand quarrying.

The HC put a stay on the new guidelines issued on December 21, 2023, while hearing a PIL filed by social activist Prasanta Kumar Das for intervention against mechanised illegal sand mining on the bed of Kathajodi river near Cuttack.

The High Court had on November 29, 2023, warned that it would initiate criminal proceedings against officials if they fail to mend their ways and stop facilitating proliferation of excess mining of sand by using excavators on Kathajodi river bed within a fortnight.

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