Cassian Baliarsingh

Days after Nayagarh district Collector Rabindra Nath Sahu and three others were booked for allegedly seeking a bride to the tune of Rs 25 lakh, the district administration on Wednesday lodged an FIR against complainant and laterite stone mine lease holder Susant Kumar Barad.

The FIR has been lodged at Chandpur police station against Susant Kumar Barad, lessee of Mayurjhalia Laterite Quarry, and Shashank Agarwal, Director of M/s Agarwal Infrabuild Private Limited, for illegal extraction of laterite stone/soil/murram beyond the lease area.

A few locals had reportedly approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the two. Based on the complaints by the locals, the NGT had earlier quashed the complaint against Nayagarh Collector and had directed the district administration to initiate criminal proceedings against Susant and Shashank in one week.

The NGT has also issued directions to the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Odisha to compute environmental compensation against Susant and Agarwal and recover the same from them in accordance with law.

On the other hand, cases have also been registered against the Revenue Inspector (RI) and nine other assistant government officials in this connection.

When contacted, Umakant Mallick, Additional SP, Nayagarh said, “Lessee of Mayurjhalia Laterite Quarry has illegally extracted more laterite stones from jungle area. The NGT had sought an affidavit in this regard to the district Collector. Based on the Collector’s affidavit, it came to the fore that they have indeed extracted illegally. Nine government employees are also involved. Further probe is on.”

“There was a cashew orchard spread across 144 acres forest land. However, they have completely destroyed the jungle to illegally extract laterite stones. Based on our complaint, the NGT has directed the district administration to take action against the officials involved and the lessee,” said Deepak Routray, one of the complainants.

  • Reported by:
  • Jayendra Behera