A wildlife and environment protection group in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills districts has urged the State Government to initiate criminal proceedings against officials allegedly allowing illegal coal mining, despite a ban imposed on it by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
A report published in the Business Standard stated that the group also demanded auditing be conducted on all cement factories in East Jaintia Hills District to find out the source of coal being supplied to them.
The report further said group convener Sanjay Laloo and B Buam wrote in a letter submitted to the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday – “Meghalaya should initiate criminal proceedings against the errant officials who are responsible for allowing illegal coal mining to happen in their jurisdiction.”
“Audit should be immediately conducted on all the cement factories in East Jaintia Hills on the source of coal and the quantity they are utilising on a daily basis, and the coal stocked within their factory premises,” the letter said. The NGT had imposed a blanket ban on coal mining in Meghalaya since April 2014, and while disposing off the matter on August 31 last, reconfirmed the ban on mining and transportation of already-extracted coal.
In the letter, Laloo and Buam said there are brisk coal mining activities and environmental destruction taking place all over Meghalaya. “Every day, about 130 coal-laden trucks are supplying coal to various cement industries in East Jaintia Hills. Coal mining has not at all stopped in East Jaintia, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills district,” it alleged.