Jajpur, Sept 12 (LocalWire): The district administration today imposed Section-144 of Criminal Procedure Code in the hillocks of Sahanidiha, Baghua and Kusunapur under Dharmasala tehasil of Jajpur district to prevent illegal quarry of black granite by stone lifters.
Similarly, prohibitory orders were also imposed in the riverside villages of Raichanda, Anjara and Bichakhani to stop illegal sand mining, said the district Collector, Ranjan Kumar Das.
‘All the three hillocks are under threat due to rampant stone quarrying and so we promulgated prohibitory orders to stop the illegal quarry.
We also asked police to guard the hillocks,’ he added.
‘We have not leased out the hillocks to anyone but some people were illegally quarrying. After receiving complaints from villagers we stopped it, added the Collector.
Seven months back the district administration had sealed four illegal stone quarries at Dankari hillock after the National Green Tribunal directed the forest and environment department secretary to constitute a joint inspection team to ascertain facts pertaining to illegal stone quarries operating in and around Dankari hillock and take necessary actions against the mafias and close the quarries,’ said the Collector.
The district administration has formed a special task force to close all the illegal stone quarries and sand mines, added Das.
‘Rampant quarrying posed serious danger to the nearby villages and agricultural fields.
Some contractors in connivance with government officials have been illegally lifting stones from the hillocks turning them vulnerable and on the verge of collapse.
We are happy that the authorities imposed prohibitory orders,’ said Gayachand Behera of Baghua.
Illicit sand mining is on the rise with powerful mafia groups involving agricultural labourers in the activity.
The activity has reached a feverish pace due to huge demand for sand by land owners, big companies and others to fill up low lands with sand.
‘Unauthorised sand mining is turning out to be a lucrative cottage industry in riverside villages.
The sand-lifters continue to plunder the river bed in connivance with officials.
Every day, tractors and trucks enter the village worsening the condition of roads even as heaps of sand dot the villages.
The authorities should take stern action against the sand mafias,’ said Subash Dash of Bichakhani village.