Rashmi Ranjan

The local crusher owners’ association and hundreds of labourers working at the crusher units in Khordha took out a massive rally and gheroed the district collector’s office on Wednesday after administration's mega crackdown over allegations of illegal stone mining.

Intensifying its action against stone mafia, the Khordha district administration sealed as many as 104 crusher units reportedly operating illegally in the district. However, the move by the administration was vehemently opposed by the owners of the crusher units and labourers working there.

The association has also alleged that the administration has not only sealed the crusher units but also disconnected electricity supply to the houses of the labourers. 

“There are no illegal crusher units operating in the district. We have all the required permission from the pollution control board to operate these units. Of the 413 crushers, the administration has sealed around 104 units,” said regional crusher owners’ association secretary Prakash Samantaray.

“We wanted to discuss the matter with the Collector but the assistant collector said we are not open for discussion and decision has been made to seal the crusher units. So we are sending a memorandum to 5T secretary through the Collector,” Samantaray added.

Commenting on the matter, Khordha Collector K Sudarshan Chakravarthy said necessary action will be taken after reviewing the situation.

“We already had a discussion with the crusher unit owners association and asked the units which don’t have permission to stop operation with immediate effect. Moreover, I have directed the concerned officials to clear all pending application on war footing,” Chakravarthy said.