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Sharmili Mallick

Bargarh: A Mumbai-based company hired for the construction of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (BPCL) ethanol plant at Baulasingha in Bargarh district has been accused of illegally extracting sand and minerals from the region.

According to reports, Bijay builders which has been awarded the contract of constructing the boundary wall of the ethanol plant is allegedly involved in theft of sand from river beds and water from bore wells near the company site.

The Bargarh Ethnol Plant is the first bio fuel plant in the country where ethanol will be produced from rice straw.

It is also being alleged that the concerned builder is also extracting and transporting stones and boulders from mines at Sambampuri village in the district.

A local of Baulsingha, Amitabh Patra alleged “The employees and contractors of the construction firm are illegally extracting mineral ore from forest and sand from the river bed in the region. If a government company like BPCL is involved in such activities, then it is really very unfortunate.”

After serious allegations were levelled against the construction agency, BPCL officials rushed to the company site and reviewed the situation. Moreover, the officials have also ordered to stop the construction work till further orders.

“If something like this is going on, the concerned authority will investigate the matter. We are a government company and we do not want to get involved in anything that is illegal,” informed Sanjeev Pal, BPCL CGAM, Biofuel.

Meanwhile, Bargarh district Collector, Indramani Tripathy, said “Any illegal activity will not be encouraged. As per the government norms, the company has to first take mining lease for extracting stones.”

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