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NGT ban effect: Cement cos in dire straits

JOWAI: Cement companies operational in East Jaintia Hills district are facing a precarious situation due to the ban imposed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) on extraction of coal as well as its transportation.
Coal is one of the major mineral used as fuel and due to non-availability of coal these cement companies are facing threat of closing down their plants.
“The demand of coal in the cement plants is huge and if there is no supply all cement companies will have no other options but to shut down their plants,” said a senior official of a cement factory.
The official lamented that the NGT court lifted the ban on transportation of the assessed and extracted coal only for its transportation to Beltola in Assam.
“But the cement units in East Jaintia Hills have not received any quantity of coal due to non availability of weighbridge  in the district,” he said adding, “Approximately 2000 to 2500 trucks are seen transporting coal to Assam everyday”.
It may be mentioned that the State Committee of the NGT has fixed  Umtyr-a village as the quantum of the coal supply to cement plants. Interestingly, there is no weighbridge at Um-tyr-a village.
Sources informed that cement plants officials had on several occasions requested the State government to notify the weighbridge located at Byndihati for the purpose but till date nothing has materialised. There are eight cement plants in Lumshnong area of East Jaintia Hills district. These cement plants need huge quantity of coal for captive thermal power plants and for manufacture of cements and cement products including clinker.
The cements units are looking toward the State Committee of the NGT to take prompt action before the extracted coal is exhausted.

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