Bhubaneswar : Almost a month after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered the district administration of Balasore to inspect the sites near the Subarnarekha River and stop the rampant illegal sand mining; the menace seems to continue unabated.
The NGT order was passed on January 14 and 25 days post passing of the order nothing seem to have changed on the ground, the villagers and the applications who moved the tribunal to get rid of the menace now complain that despite the tribunal’s intervention, villagers are still suffering due to the illegal sand mining in the area. They claim that still loads of trucks are venturing into the area and uploading sands into their trucks.
The case pertains to Sekhsarai village at Jaleshwar under the Balasore district limits. The villagers complain that trucks carrying the sand are plying throughout day and night in Sekhsarai 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 Tahasildar multiple but the villagers claimed they are yet to get respite from the hardships.
The residents of the area claim that their woes have increased manifold after the sand mining ban in West Bengal. After the blanket ban in Bengal, all the trucks are now reported to be moving to Sekhsarai and carrying the sand from this source. The petitions before the district administration after the NGT order requested have now urged the Collector to intervene.
In their latest representation before the Balasore district administration, they have asked the administration to abide by the NGT order and act to ward of their woes. The aggrieved villagers claim that locals are not able to sleep peacefully because of noise by the sand loaded vehicles passing through the village road even at night.
In its January 14 order, the NGT had said, “….we direct the District Magistrate, Balasore to inspect the area in question and prohibit further illegal activities as alleged in the Original Application subject to the findings of the Committee. Copy of this order be transmitted to the District Magistrate Balasore for compliance and report.”