Bhandaripokhari: The sand mafia has been illegally transporting truckloads of sand from Genguti river in this block in Bhadrak.
The sand mafia has been using tractors, mini-trucks and excavators on the riverbed, locals said.
Some days ago Baitarani waters had risen and the mafia was unable to mine sand from the river. So they have started mining Genguri sand.
As illegal sand mining is rampant, the government is losing crores, the villagers said. Tehsil officials and police have closed their eyes to this illegal mining.
Sand mining is being carried out in Mudhapada, Maninathpur, Dandakul and Sathigan. It has led to resentment among people in these areas.
Locals said that though they have been repeatedly drawing the attention of RIs and other officials, the administration is not taking any action.
“The sand and stone mafia has been carrying out illegal mining in the river due to a secret understanding with tehsil officials,” they said.
Tehsildar Mrutyunjay Bhuyan said sand is being looted, and that a squad has been formed to check it. “There is need for police to raid the mafia. It is not possible without the police,” the Tehsildar added.
The mafia has stocked illegally mined sand at various places in Bhandaripokhari. Locals demanded that the Collector should take action against the sand mafia.