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‘Cat’s eye’ rush in Odisha Koraput district

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Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada Nov 28:

A rare jewel called cat’s eye has been found in Anabadi village under Bandhugaon block of Koraput district in Odisha.

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Workers first came across some glittering stones while excavating earth to build a road for Anabadi under PMGSY. These stones of varying colours were discovered just 3 feet under the ground and were later found out to be Cat’s eye.

Jewel agents from Koraput, Kalahandi, Titilagarh and Kantabanjhi are camping near the site after news of the discovery spread through word of the mouth.  About 2-3 kilos of this jewel worth Rs 4 crores have already been taken out from a 1500 sq ft area that has been dug 10 feet deep so far.  Locals, who are unaware of the real value of these precious stones, are selling the jewel for Rs 10, 000 per gram to the agents.

Neither the police nor the administration has reached the village so far. The excavation site not only lies inside a dense forest, but is also Naxal infested.

Earlier, mines of manganese, graphite, bauxite and iron ore have been discovered in undivided Koraput district. An aerial radar survey of the district in the 90’s by Geology department of Odisha had found existence of alexandrite and diamond as well. Later, precious stones were also discovered in Irukubadi of Rayagada block, Dakulguda of Bishamkatak and Dahikhal of Muniguda block.

The mines areas of Dakulguda have been provided with police protection. However, due to the inaction of the Mines and Geology department of government of Odisha, jewels worth crores are being shipped out of the state illegally.