Himansu Shekhar Rout

The restriction earlier imposed by the Orissa High Court on sand lifting with machines and sand transportation between 7 am and 9 pm will remain in force. The HC made this ruling while hearing a case related to illegal sand mining from rivers on Tuesday.

However, the HC has granted conditional permission to sand lifting with machines at places where manual sand mining is not possible.  

The HC in its order further stated that environmental clearance is mandatory for sand lifting with excavators/machines. The environmental clearance will be granted after assessing the geographical location of the ghats/rivers, amounts of sand reserve, the direction of river courses, and the environmental impact of sand mining, it was stated.

Also Read: Ban on sand mining from river beds continues as Orissa HC seeks exact sand policy from State govt

The HC also stated that leaseholders of the sand ghats whose lease terms have not expired will have to get fresh permission from the government.  

Notably, the HC was hearing a PIL filed by one Prashant Das who opposed illegal sand mining in various rivers of Odisha. He alleged that the state government has been losing Rs 240 crore per annum as revenue due to unauthorized sand mining.

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