Rashmi Ranjan

Mamtaj Moharana, Tehsildar of Badasahi in Mayurbhanj who went missing after receiving severe reprimand from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over illegal sand mining in the district, has been placed under suspension by the Odisha government.

According to a notification issued by the State Revenue and Disaster Management department, Moharana has been suspended with immediate effect.

“The Governor of Odisha, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub rule (1) of Rule-12 of OCS (CC&A) Rules, 1962 hereby places Mamtaj Moharana, OAS-A(JB), Tahasildar, Badasahi. Dist.-Mayurbhanj under suspension with immediate effect,” read the official release. 

As per the official order, during the period of suspension, Moharana’s headquarters will be at Collectorate, Mayurbhanj.

“Moharana shall not leave the headquarters without obtaining prior permission of the Collector, Mayurbhanj and she shall be entitled to the payment of subsistence allowance in accordance with Rule-90 of Odisha Service Code,” it read.

Notably, Mohanrana went missing just a day before the arrest of a sand mafia Pradeep Bindhani on April 30 for allegedly lifting sand way beyond his lease area. Moharana was allegedly hands in gloves with the accused.

As per the NGT ruling, Bindhani mined 200 percent more sand from his stipulated lease and used heavy machinery to mine the sands altering the flow path of the river. It was alleged that the Tehsildar helped him doing so and shielded him from the law until the NGT arrived into the scene.

The NGT had ordered the district Collector to collect Rs 17.3 crore from Bindhani as fine for the 'illegal' lifting of sand.