The Leader of Opposition in Meghalaya and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma took a dig at the MDA Government in view of the Supreme Court order against transportation of coal and said “the leadership does not have both moral and legal right to continue in office”.
Meghalaya Chief Secretary Yeshi Tsering on Tuesday directed all the authorities concerned to ensure compliance of the directions of the Supreme Court against transportation of coal without fail.
“Today’s order (Tuesday) of the Supreme Court shows that for the first time in the history of India after Independence, this court could no longer trust a state government. The leadership has to be held responsible and with this exposure, the leadership does not have both the moral and the legal right to continue in office,” Mukul Sangma said in a statement while reacting to the apex court’s order.
An official communique issued by the Chief Secretary on Tuesday evening said, “in pursuance of the directions of the Supreme Court in its sitting today (Tuesday), as communicated by the Advocate General of Meghalaya, transportation of coal in the state is hereby stopped with immediate effect. All concerned authorities are hereby directed to ensure compliance of the aforesaid directions of the Supreme Court without fail.”
Earlier, the Supreme Court had allowed transportation of extracted coal in Meghalaya till January 31. However, on Tuesday, the court refused to allow transportation of extracted coal and the ban to transport coal will continue till February 19 after taking into consideration reports related to ongoing mining of coal notwithstanding the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal since April 17, 2014.
On Tuesday, the court also pulled up the Meghalaya Government for failing to stop illegal mining.
The ban on transporting extracted coal also came after 15 miners were trapped in a coal mine at Khloo Ryngksan in East Jaiñtia Hills district for more than one month since December 13 last year.
Efforts to trace the trapped miners are still on, but no sign of recovering the bodies despite continued operations by various agencies that brought in machines to pump out water from the coal mine and other nearby mines.
Meanwhile, spokesperson for the rescue operation, R. Sungi said the Odisha Fire Services operated their pump from 11.50 am till 5 pm on Tuesday and the discharge of water from the flooded coal pit was approximately 4,59,000 litres.
“The Coal India Limited also pumped out the water for 5 hours and the total discharge was 6,23,700 litres. The Indian Navy operated their Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for 15 hours inside an old shaft to survey and sanitize the shaft,” Susngi said.
The NDRF personnel are also coordinating with other agencies and assisted them with all the available resources.
Preparation of the KSB pump was also on, Sungi said, adding that Dr Sudhir, Dr Niraj Kumar, Dr Dewashish Kumar, Dr Vineet Kumar of the Plenys-Chennai Technology were conducting survey of the rock strata, seepage and loose formation in the surface of the mining area.