Himansu Shekhar Rout

Locals have strongly opposed illegal sand mining which is reportedly rampant in the Kharasota River flowing on the borders of Aul and Kanika areas of the Kendrapara district.

As per reports, even though illegal sand lifting has been going on at Gadagadi ghat for a long time, the administration has allegedly looked the other way. 

Residents of Balichandrapur alleged that over 100 heavy vehicles engaged in sand transportation are taking a heavy toll the village roads and have increased the chances of mishaps.

As the administration has allegedly failed to take action against the sand mafia, the villagers staged a road blockade, paralyzing sand transportation.

Usharani Sahu, a villager said, "Over 200 trucks are carrying sand every day. The frequency of vehicular movement is so high that it is very difficult to cross the road. On Monday, my grandson escaped by a whisker from being run over.”

She warned that the road blockade will be carried on till the issue is sorted out.

Mining officer Ranjit Kumar Behera said, "The ADM informed us about the protest against illegal mining. I visited the spot and found a spot with fresh sand mining. An excavator machine was detained. Legal action will be taken.”