Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal sand mining in Rayan Ramchandrapur Sand Source, Balasore district, Odisha, 04/08/2023

  • 04/08/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Abani Kumar Sahoo Vs State of Odisha & Others dated 04/08/2023.The matter related to illegal sand mining in Rayan Ramchandrapur Sand Source in an area of 20.38 acres. It is stated that the Tahasildar,Jaleswar executed a lease deed in favour of the miner on April 13, 2021.Environmental Clearance was also granted by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) Odisha, on July 13, 2017.

The applicant stated that SEIAA, Odisha, May 6, 2022 issued a clarification stating that Environmental Clearance has been granted in adhoc manner and will be revoked after December 31, 2022. The Consent to Operate was granted by the SPCB on May 10, 2022 valid upto December 31, 2022 and thereafter it has been renewed on February 14, 2023 valid upto March 31, 2023 for capacity of 2500 cum. It is alleged that the Consent to Operate was granted illegally without verifying the validity of the Environmental Clearance.

It was further alleged that the Sub-Collector, Balasore, vide his letter dated March 24, 2023 addressed to the Additional District Magistrate, Balasore, has further clarified that the Rayan Ramchandrapur Sand Source is situated in the DLC forest and should not be allowed to be operated. It was also stated that the said Sand Source has not been recommended in the District Survey Report by the Sub-Divisional Committee.

The allegation further was that no green belt or plantation has been done as per the Approved Mining Plan which requires plantation of 50 saplings every year and 250 saplings in a five year lease period.

The NGT, Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata directed a five member committee to look into the allegations. The committee after visiting the site will submit its report within a period of four weeks. If the violations are found, the Committee shall suggest remedial measures as well as determine the Environmental Compensation and the concerned officers of the various departments shall also initiate appropriate steps for taking action against the violator as per law, the order said.