Badashi: The riverbed of Budhabalanga in Badasahi block of Mayurbhanj district has turned out to be safe haven for sand mafia. Due to rampant illegal sand mining, the state government has been losing revenue crores of rupees annually.
Worse, sand mining has caused banks to erode every year, posing danger to the riparian villages, a report said. Transit passes issued by tehsil authorities are being misused by sand transporters while lease holders in some cases resort to excess mining and allegedly browbeat villagers who oppose them.
Aggrieved villagers have alleged that the ongoing illegal and excessive sand mining is the fallout of an unholy nexus between the sand mafia and the teshil officials.
The sand mafia has engaged excavators and truckloads of sand are transported from Sakua Ghat of the river daily. As per norms, use of machines in sand mining is not permitted, but the sand mafia continues to violate the norm.
In the past, locals and lease holders had fights while cases have landed in police stations. Transit passes are being tampered with by sand miners and used again and again.
Excessive sand mining has led to erosion of river banks while acres of land on the banks have vanished over the years, villagers said. Though villagers take up the issue with the tehsil administration, no steps are being taken to stop it, the villagers said.
Tehsildar Amiya Rout said use of machines in sand mining will be halted and action will be taken against the lease holder. And, Rs 5 lakh fine will be imposed on lease holders who will be using excavators, he added. He also pointed out that villagers at some places prevent lease holders from sand mining and the government is losing revenue.