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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Touted as Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s dream project, the Gurupriya Bridge construction in Malkangiri is now saddled with controversy with Forest department issuing notice to the construction agency for ‘illegal soil mining’.

Kolkata-based Royal Infraconstru Limited has been served a show-cause for soil mining from near a hill that comes under the purview of the forest department.

Though the construction agency had deposited Rs 30 lakh royalty with district administration, nearly 20 meters from where soil has been excavated comes under the forest land.

Also Read:Gurupriya Bridge to complete by September: RD Minister

“Revenue officials claimed that it was their land but after a joint survey it was found that soil has been excavated from 20 meters inside the forest land,” said Chitrakonda ranger Nikhil Chandra Sarkar.

Project Director, Royal Infra Niranjan Kumar on the other hand questioned the ‘callous attitude’ of forest department for waking up so late.

“We got notice last week and the soil excavation was being done for the last two years after we paid the necessary royalty to the tehsil against the demand of Rs 36 lakh,” said Niranjan.

The foundation stone for the bridge over Gurupriya river was laid in 1982 by the then chief minister JB Patnaik and again by CM Naveen Patnaik in 2000.

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