BHUBANESWAR: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a joint inquiry by a team of officials from both the Centre and State government into the alleged illegal and excess mining at Jhilli mouza in Dhenkanal district.
The apex green panel has asked to constitute a joint committee comprising the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), Collector, State-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Central Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to probe the allegation. The committee will ascertain facts and take the viewpoint of the affected parties.
Acting on a petition filed by six persons challenging the illegal operation of stone quarries in violation of environmental clearance and other conditions, the NGT besides appointing the SPCB for coordination, has sought a factual and action taken report within three months.
“The illegal operation has endangered life and property of locals. Stone crushers do not have any statutory consent and no green belt has been developed. There is no demarcation of the leased area and mining is taking place beyond the actual leased area.
In the process, there has been felling of trees, illegal blasting and damage to the houses,” they contended. Moreover, overloaded vehicles are plying on rural roads without the approval from the Rural Development department. “The allegations need to be first looked into by the joint committee,” the panel ordered.