Jaleswar: Leaseholders are allegedly resorting to excessive sand mining every day in river Subarnarekha in Jaleswar tehsil of Balasore district, a report said.
Lifting of sand more than the fixed limit has led to loss of revenue for state the government, while the leaseholders are making a fast buck.
According to the report, 22 sand mines in Subarnarekha had been leased out five years ago. Their term had expired recently. It was alleged that due to some faulty policy of the tehsil, leaseholders moved the High Court and got an extension of the lease period.
Locals said sand mining came to a halt for some days after the coronavirus-induced lockdown was imposed. But now, excessive sand mining is going on in full swing, they lamented.
Thousands of trucks, tractors and dumpers have been carting away tonnes of sand every day under the very nose of the administration. The traders are selling the sand at inflated rates. Even many vehicles engaged in sand transport were found to be without registration.
Locals had drawn the attention of the Collector and the Tehsildar. An enforcement team was formed to monitor such activities. The team raided the river banks Saturday and seized five tractors laden with sand. Besides, three unregistered tractors were also seized.
Locals appealed to the administration to regulate the price of sand. They alleged that despite raids, excessive sand mining will go on. They demanded that the administration should regularly check excessive sand mining from the river.