Bhawanipatna: Rampant sand loot has bent taking place from the bed of river Tel in Kalahandi district while the government is losing revenue worth crores of rupees every year.
Recently, a tehsildar raided the Turkel sand ghat and imposed a fine of Rs 4.5 lakh on some illegal sand lifters. Friday, a revenue inspector seized a vehicle on the riverbank in Kesinga block.
The revenue department leases out sand ghats in Kesinga, Turkel, Chhenagaon, Karlamunda and Sagada every year.
But, some leaseholders have been lifting sand excessively beyond the limit fixed by the tehsil. The government loses revenue due to the excessive sand lifting.
It is alleged that a leaseholder has sub-let a ghat to the mafia at Chhenagaon. The leaseholder has not yet completed signing of formal agreement with the tehsil. He has not even obtained the statutory clearance from the Orissa State Pollution Control Board for sand lifting, it was learnt.
Locals have demanded a probe into the illegalities. A few days ago, machines were engaged in sand quarrying and truckloads of sand had been transported to other places. However, the revenue officials are accused of looking the other way.
Villagers of Turkel and Chhenagaon had taken up the issue of illegal sand lifting with the collector and the revenue divisional commissioner a few days ago.
Later, Bhawanipatana tehsildar had seized two sand-laden heavy vehicles and had imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on the vehicle owners, while Rs 1.5 lakh was fined for engaging machines in the ghat. PNN