Khurda: Illegal quarrying of gravel and laterite stone from the cashew forests at Mahula and Madhipur villages of Angarpada panchayat of Jatni block has caused resentment among locals.
Around a 100 villagers Thursday congregated at the cashew forests and opposed the illegal stone quarrying. On being informed, Jatni tehsildar Premanshu Chand reached the spot and seized two power tillers engaged in the illegal stone quarrying, sources said.
According to sources, a private contractor has taken around 50 acre of cashew forests at Mahula and Madhipur on a lease for Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation to collect cashew nuts.
However, the contractor and some of his associates have been quarrying gravel and laterite stone illegally from the cashew forests for last several days.
“The contractor has been supplying stone and gravel illegally to various places through heavy vehicles. The cashew forests have suffered extensive damage due to the illegal quarrying. Now, one can find several deep pits in the forests. The administration should take immediate steps to stop the illegal stone quarrying in Angarpada panchayat,” said a villager.
Tehsildar Premanshu Chand said they have taken steps to check illegal stone quarrying at Angarpada. “The contractor has been directed to stop the illegal quarrying,” he added.