Green tribunal raps M’laya govt

‘Coal mining going on under garb of transportation’

NEW DELHI: The NGT has pulled Meghalaya government for allowing illegal coal mining activities in the state, despite several directions issued by the green bench.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar  on Monday said the Meghalaya government was allowing the mining in the state under the ‘garb’ of coal transportation.
“Local commissioners appointed by the Tribunal have submitted reports indicating that there is illegal mining going on in the state. Under the garb of transportation, you leave your extracted coal and take out coal from the mines. This is mockery of our orders,” the bench said.
In response, the counsel for the Meghalaya government said it was taking all steps to ensure that there was no illegal mining and there was proper check on the transportation of coal.
The bench said, “The extension had been granted several times in the past to shut all the unauthorized activities…but nothing has been changed on the grounds. Take it on a serious note…the extension being given to the state government for the one last time and you must treat this as a final opportunity.”
The NGT had also directed the state government to submit mining guidelines to the Coal Ministry of Coal within four weeks.
On December 23 last year, the green panel had extended the time for transportation of extracted coal in Meghalaya till May 15 and fixed February 15 as the last date for payment of royalty after the state government informed it that if extracted coal is not transported before the rainy reason then it may cause pollution in rivers.  The green bench has prohibited mining in the entire state of Meghalaya but allowed transportation of extracted coal. (Agencies)

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