Cuttack: Opposing illegal sand lifting from Kuakhai river, an advocate from Kalyanpur in Khurda Thursday filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Orissa High Court. Petitioner Achyutananda Swain made law department secretary, revenue divisional commissioner (central), Cuttack collector, sub-collector and Barang tehsildar as parties to the case. The petitioner claimed that some people had been lifting huge quantities of sand from Kuakhai riverbed under Barang tehsil over last several years without any approval from the authorities concerned.
He also alleged a nexus between a few government officials and the sand mafia. “The state government is losing revenue due to the illegal act. Besides, plying of sand-laden trucks and tractors has caused extensive damage to Khuakhai embankments and made the locality prone to floods,” said the petition. The petitioner urged the HC to take necessary steps to check illegal sand mining.