Coal transportation in Meghalaya: NGT extends time till Nov 30

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Observing that “unregulated mining cannot be permitted”, the National Green Tribunal has extended the time for transportation of extracted coal in Meghalaya till November 30 and fixed September 30 as the last date for payment of royalty.

“Regulated and scientific mining in accordance with the provisions of the relevant laws, is an absolute necessity. Illegal, unauthorised, unscientific unregulated mining cannot be permitted, as it not only causes serious surface water and ground water pollution but also results in great danger to human life and health,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The green bench has prohibited mining in the entire state of Meghalaya but allowed transportation of extracted coal kept in the open with due “checks and balances“.

The tribunal’s observation came after the Meghalaya government sought extension of time for payment of royalty and transportation of already extracted coal.

It, however, said the extension is being done for the last time and this be treated as final opportunity to the state government.

During the proceedings, Meghalaya Government told the Bench that illegal mining is still going on and it has caught nearly 327 cases of illegal mining in Jayantia Hills.

Taking note of the submissions, the green panel directed the state government to file status within four weeks in such cases.

The tribunal also directed the state government to take all steps within its jurisdiction to ensure that no illegal mining takes place under any circumstances.

“The state government should submit the mining plan and policy as directed in the orders dated June 9, 2014 and August 1, 2014 passed by the tribunal. The state of Meghalaya is expected to prepare a plan in consultation with the ministry concerned and approve and notify it,” it said.

The bench also direct the Meghalaya Chief Secretary to personally comply with these directions without any further delay and demur.

“The state of Meghalaya to file the list of the cases where they have caught persons carrying on the illegal and unauthorised mining with complete particulars of the persons.

“The name of owners carrying on mining should also be provided to the tribunal along with status reports,” it said.

Published on August 02, 2015

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