The Supreme Court will hear a special leave petition on November 2, which was filed by the Meghalaya State Co-ordination Committee of Coal Owners, Miners and Dealer’s Forum challenging an order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) where it maintained that the ban on coal mining and transportation of the already mined coal in Meghalaya will continue.
On August 31 this year, the NGT’s Principal Bench while disposing of all pending matters related to the case filed before the Tribunal in 2012 and 2014, maintained that the ban on coal mining and transportation of the already mined mineral will continue.
The NGT order also said that the Meghalaya Government will be the receiver/custodian of the available extracted coal, subject to further orders of the Supreme Court.
The NGT has banned coal mining in Meghalaya since April 17, 2014.
Balios Swer, in-charge of the Media Cell of the Meghalaya State Co-ordination Committee of Coal Owners, Miners and Dealer’s Forum said that the special leave petition (SLP) was filed before the Supreme Court through its counsels which comprised Yoginder Handoo, P. Yobin and Saurabh Sharma.
“The matter has been listed for motion hearing on November 2 by the Apex Court,” Swer said.
He said that the Forum had consistently pleaded before the National Green Tribunal for the last four years or more that coal mining activities cannot be construed as illegal, in as much as the State and the Central Governments have accorded the acknowledgment of the traditional method of coal mining in the State of Meghalaya, and coal miners have been also paying royalties and taxes.
“The National Green Tribunal instead of accommodating the proposals of mining plans submitted by the State Government and supported by the Forum to lift the ban on coal mining, has instead disposed of the matter and making the ban infinite. The Forum reiterated that the ethnic people of the State are geared up to adapt themselves to the new scientific and safe mining methods, which would balance the protection of their livelihoods and water pollution,” Swer stated.