NGT Orders Probe into Alleged Illegal Stone Mining in Odisha’s Dharmasala

Cuttack: The East Zone bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has initiated an investigation into alleged illegal stone quarrying in Rahadpur, Dharmasala tehsil, Jajpur district, Odisha. Responding to a petition from local residents, the NGT bench, comprising B Amit Sthalekar (judicial member) and Arun Kumar Verma (expert member), ordered the formation of an expert panel to look into the matter.

The residents raised concerns about excessive mining near two minor irrigation projects close to the Nischinta reserve forest. The petitioners, represented by lawyer Sankar Prasad Pani, cited illegal and uncontrolled stone mining activities involving blasting, causing damage to houses, roads, agricultural land, and groundwater pollution.

The NGT has mandated a committee, including senior scientists from the Odisha State Pollution Control Board and State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, the Deputy Director of Mines (Jajpur), and the district collector, to conduct an on-site inspection. The committee is required to submit a detailed report within four weeks. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for March 6.

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