Mrunal Manmay Dash

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday ordered the Khordha Collector to conduct an inspection in connection with the illegal stone mining case at Sahadaghai village under Tangi block and furnish a report within four weeks.

The Tribunal passed the order after hearing a petition filed by Dilip Kumar Samantray who has alleged that one Patitapabana Barik has been mining laterite stones from a quarry at Sahadaghai illegally.

As per the allegations, Barik had permission to mine at a particular place. However, he mined at 20 places looting tons of laterite stones in the process. A complaint was earlier filed in the police station against Barik in this connection. However, no action was taken against him, forcing the complainant to knock the NGT door.

In its order, the NGT observed, “Environmental clearance was transferred in favour of Patitapaban Barik, for Laterite Stone Quarry over an area of 6.32 acres on May 11, 2022. But Barik had started mining, prior to that date. Y Form issued on March 9, 2022 confirms illegal mining being carried out by him.”

“Considering the allegations made in the original application, we direct the Collector & District Magistrate, Khordha, to cause an inspection of the site in question, to be carried out within four weeks and submit his report. The Members of his Committee i.e., the Inspecting Team shall also include the Divisional Forest Officer, Khordha or his senior representative as well as the Director of Mines and Geology, Khordha, or his senior representative,” the NGT said.

"The Committee will submit its report within one month and in case the Committee finds that the allegations made are true and that illegal mining is being carried out as alleged, the District Collector will take immediate steps and pass appropriate orders to stop such illegal mining and will also determine Environmental Compensation in this regard,” the tribunal maintained.

The District Collector has been made the nodal officer for all logistical purposes.

(Reported By Kapilendra Pradhan, OTV)