Bhubaneswar : The Odisha State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has now revoked the environmental clearance granted for sand mining on the banks of Subarnarekha river near Jaleswar after the matter was raked up before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The development came after there had been multiple reports of violation of NGT compliance notice relating to halting of sand mining in the area of Sekhsarai at Jaleswar Tehsil in the Balasore district. In a fresh notice issued by the SEIAA to the Jaleswar Tehsildar has been asked to ensure halting of the sand mining areas in the controversial area.
The overall development was also triggered after the Oversight Committee formed in the case chaired by Justice RK Merathia asked the SEIAA to revoke the environmental nod give for the sand mining. A letter written by the SEIAA to the Jaleswar tehsildar said, “…I am to say that a mail has been received from Justice RK Merathia addressed to the Member Secretary, SEIAA wherein it has been requested to revoke environmental clearance granted by SEIAA in favour of the sand quarry.”
It also added, “The matter was discussed by the authority and was decided that the environmental clearance guaranteed by the SEIAA earlier dated 17.08.2015 stands revoked pending enquiry into the allegations (sic).”
The lessee meanwhile has now been asked by the tehsildar to not mine the area as their pre-requisite approval for mining has not been cancelled with immediate effect.
Earlier, the NGT in its order date January 14, 2019, in Subarnarekha Sand Mining Case had asked the District Collector to take appropriate action against illegal sand mining but unfortunately no action was been taken and the illegal mining continued unabated.
The case was related to the Sekhsarai village at Jaleshwar under the Balasore district limits. The villagers had complained before authorities that trucks carrying the sand are plying throughout day and night in the village road endangering the safety of school going children and in violation of the approved mining plan. This has earlier been allegedly brought to the notice of the Tehsildar multiple but the villagers claimed they are yet to get respite from the hardships.