Jajpur: Hundreds of dwellers from Mankedia slum Sunday were up in arms against illegal sand quarries under Sukinda tehsil in this district.
To stop illegal sand smuggling, irate slum dwellers intercepted a number of sand-laden Hyva trucks and did not allow sand mafias to unload at an illegal depot in Kaliapani mines area, a source said Monday.
Sand suppliers and mafias use forest lands, playgrounds, open fields and roadsides for dumping the minor-mineral, the locals alleged. The slum-dwellers had earlier approached the local police and tehsil officials in this regard. However, the administration is still in limbo.
Tension prevailed in the locality for hours after the trucks were not allowed to unload at nearby open field being used as illegal depot.
Also read: 6 killed in separate road mishaps in Odisha
A source informed that illegal sand quarrying activities are going on rampantly under Sukinda tehsil of Jajpur. Huge quantity of sand is being required for filling an ongoing excavation work at Kaliapani.
Some unscrupulous tehsil officials have also joined hands with local mafia in the illegal activity. Heaps of sands are being seen in Kaliapani mines area on a number of lands owned by state Forest department and Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), many residents alleged.
According to the source, equivalent quantity of sand is being filled in the chromite mines here. The mafias manage to transport sands either by using fabricated transit pass (TP) or without a valid document.
Allegedly, Hyva carriers are used to transport sands from Brahmani riverbed under Bhuban tehsil of Dhenkanal every day. Mafias pay royalty once in a day and manage the subsequent trips without making any payment. Even as there are guidelines to take heavy vehicles from Bhuban main road to the mines passing through Mangalpur, local mafias use rural roads for illegal transportation.
On being contacted, Sukinda tehsildar Kaberi Muduli said, “I do have information about such illegal sand depot. I had recently gone to Kaliapani area and warned to close the illegal depot immediately.”
Kankadapal Revenue Inspector (RI) Dillip Kumar Chatar said, “We have issued notice to the depot owner for immediate closure. In case the official order is disobeyed, we will take steps for seizure.”