Jajpur: The eastern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a notice to the Jajpur district administration on allegations regarding illegal sand mining in Uttarpratap Mouza in the district.
The NGT has also asked for formation of a joint committee to investigate the matter relating to illegal sand mining along Brahmani river in the region.
The tribunal in its written order, said, “Issued notice to the respondents returnable within four weeks. Considering the allegations made in the O.A., we deem it appropriate to constitute a committee to investigate the allegations made in respect of illegal sand mining in the district Jajpur, Odisha.”
The panel will comprise members from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Jajpur Collector, State Pollution Control Board and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).
The department claimed that the panel has to inform the NGT within one month about their observations based on their findings at the ground level.
“The committee shall submit its report within one month with regard to illegal sand mining as alleged in the petition, damage caused to the environment; assess the environmental compensation and the penalty to be imposed against the respondent and persons who are involved in illegal sand mining as well as loss of revenue/royalty to the government exchequer due to excess sand mining,” the NGT order said.
The tribunal, in its interim order, asked the Jajpur Collector to ensure that the illegal mining activities are ceased. This comes after a petition was filed by one Alok Malik and others on the issue.
The petition claimed that the local government had allegedly failed to curb the menace of illegal sand mining at Uttarpratap Mouza under Dharmasala tehsil in the district along the Brahmani river.
It was further alleged that the actions of the erring miners there were in violation of the Standard Environment Clearance Conditions, Consent To Operate (CTO) Conditions, Sustainable Sand Mining Guideline 2016 and Enforcement and monitoring of sand Mining Guidelines 2020 and others.
The allegations related to the use of machines in sand mining (against norms), operations even during monsoon despite prohibition of the same, excess mining, non-maintenance of the daily mining register, no pillar demarcation of the leased areas and polluting local villages due to movement of uncovered trucks transporting collected sand and others.