Bhubaneswar: The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the District Magistrate (DM) of Balasore to ensure that all illegal activities on the Subarnarekha River and its banks are stopped.
In its order, the NGT said the issue of illegal sand mining on the Subarnarekha River is being examined by a committee. The tribunal asked the Balasore administration to stop all illegal activities like sand mining.
The NGT said in its order, “The allegation in this application is that illegal sand mining is being carried out on the banks of the Subarnarekha River. The specific area mentioned is Sekhsarai Mouza in Jaleswar tehsil of Balasore district. The illegal sand mining on the banks of the Subarnarekha River is being examined comprehensively by a committee…”
“Meanwhile, we direct the Balasore DM to inspect the area and stop the illegal activities alleged in the original application subject to the findings of the committee. A copy of this order must be transmitted to the Balasore District Magistrate for compliance and report,” it added.
The plea filed before the NGT complained about local authorities’ inaction in curbing illegal activities and the violation of pollution norms by private parties mining sand on the banks of the river in the Jaleshwar tehsil of Balasore district.
The petitioner complained that sand mining in the area went against SC orders and that of the NGT as mining was being carried out using machines when permission was given only for manual mining.
Excessive mining is being carried out beyond permissible limits, and also in areas beyond the permissible area. Uncovered sand transport vehicles are creating air pollution in the area. It also said that mining is obstructing the free flow of the river by creating artificial sandbars, and that sand mining is being carried out near the river’s embankment violating safety zone regulations.