Villagers irked over stone quarrying


Khurda, Jan 18: Illegal quarrying of laterite stone and murram from cashew forests at Nalipada Arjunpur panchayat under Khurda block has caused resentment among many villagers. 

The aggrieved villagers Monday submitted a memorandum to Khurda district Collector Sanat Kumar Mohanty and sought im-mediate steps to check illegal quar-rying at cashew forests. 

According to the villagers, Sharadhapur and Haladipada vil-lages of Nalipada Arjunpur pan-chayat have around 250 acres of cashew forests.

 The Odisha State Cashew Development Corporation had leased out the cashew forests to some private parties for collec-tion of cashew nuts. Howevet some influential people have been quarrying laterite stone and murram from the cashew forests illegally for last several days. These people have engaged several trucks 

and other heavy vehicles to supply stone and murram to various places in the district, alleged the villagers. “At least 30 acres of cashew forests at Saradhapur and Haladipada have 

been destroyed by illegal stone quar-rying Some employees of the cashew development corporation have links with the stone mafia. The stone mew are threatening the villagers to keep their mouth shut on the issue,

” said the memorandum. The villagers have urged the dis-trict administration to launch a probe into the illegal stone quarrying and initiate action against the mafia. “We would be forced to take to the street if the administration does not take immediate steps to check the illegal quarrying at cashew forests,” said the villagers. 

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