Udala/Sajanagad: As the administration has lowered its guard due to preoccupation in the fight against COVID, the sand mafia has taken it as an opportunity and become active in Udala of Mayurbhanj and in Nilagiri tehsil of Balasore. Udala tehsil is incurring loss to the tune of Rs50,000 daily.
Reports said: sand mafia has hundred of trucks and is transporting sand from Bhimtali sand ghat, only two kilometres away from Udala tehsil office. The lease period of the sand ghat has expired, but sand is being extracted outside the lease area. Villagers alleged that wanton sand mining has caused collapse of river banks in the area.
The Bhimtali river has been changing its course due to wanton sand mining. Over the years, about 50 acres of land have vanished into the river, the villagers said.
Sand is routinely transported in 70 trucks every day under the nose of the administration. The government is losing lakhs of rupees towards revenue.
It is estimated that the tehsil loses Rs 50,000 as revenue per day. Locals demanded a high level probe into the sand loot in broad day light and action against the sand mafia.
Asked about illegal sand mining, Udala tehsildar Manisha Madhulika Hembram remained non-committal. And, Kaptipada sub-collector Bhagwan Behera refused to say anything, but pushed the ball to the court of the tehsildar.