Bhubaneswar: Villagers of Nijigarh Tapang area in Khurda district have alleged that illegal mining of laterite stones is being carried out in their areas in blatant violation of the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The aggrieved villagers have written to the Khurda Collector, State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), district police and others to intervene in the matter and ensure compliance of the NGT orders seeking immediate halt to the illegal mining activities in the area.
The locals resented how the illegal activities are being carried out right under the nose of the administration.
The petition submitted to the authorities said, “The NGT order is being violated in broad daylight and the government authorities are mute spectators to the sad episode.”
The applicants/petitioners have brought the issue to the notice of the government authorities six times requesting them to enforce the NGT order and ensure immediate halt to the quarrying activities.
The petition also said, “Quarrying of laterite stones continues using four excavators and 100 trucks in broad daylight in violation of the order. Stone quarrying has become more intense following the NGT order.”
The villagers also said the mafia are undertaking mining activities like drilling and loading throughout the night starting from 7pm. They are undertaking blasting and other regular mining activities around 4pm.
Earlier, two cases were filed with the Kolkata bench of NGT in 2016 regarding illegal quarrying at Hatia and Kalianga Hill in Tapanga Mouza of Khurda district. Villagers had alleged that illegal laterite mining continued more aggressively in Tapang Panchayat and no action was taken despite of order by environment watchdog.
The District Collector and the Joint Committee in their inspection report had earlier admitted that illegal laterite quarrying as ‘rat hole mining’ has been rampant in 214 acres of land.
In the last report, in pursuance with the site visit November 1, 2019, the report claimed that there is constant enforcement and illegal mining has been stopped.