The romance between coal and the miners in Meghalaya

Shillong, April 20: Dumping of coal at a convenient place for transportation have disregard to NGT guidelines. It seems none can separate the romance that exists between coal and the miners in Meghalaya, not even the National Green tribunal (NGT) guidelines which ban on coal mining.

Sources said rampant illegal transportation of coal has been reported in both West Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills for the last few days, where several instances of coal being loaded in trucks on NH-44E in violation of the NGT order at Nongspung in West Khasi Hills. After loading coal, the trucks come through Shillong and proceed to Byrnihat. Many truckers now dump their coal in factories in Narbong area in Byrnihat which are not designated for dumping. which result in loss of revenue as the truckers carry coal beyond the limit specified in the challans.

The National Green tribunal (NGT) guidelines has only been able to curtail it drastically but not hold it completely leaving no option for the civil society organisation pursuing the matter other than to seek the intervention of NGT again. CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing had taken up the matter with both the deputy commissioner and the police in West Jaintia Hills.

“Inspite of the ban, the law enforcers have failed to keep a check on coal mining related activities and NGT guidelines,” said CSWO president Agnes Kharshing who made a spot visit to West Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills district. Kharshing said she had written to the Deputy Commissioner of West Jaintia Hills, last week informing him of the situation prevailing near Mookinder, but has not received any reply yet; it is going on in West Khasi Hills. It is not acceptable, especially when we have clear NGT orders.

Kharshing further said that the coal is being dumped anywhere and everywhere even near streams and river beds and is being sold openly on the national highway which results in deviation of coal transportation routes, sale of coal on national highway and dumping on highways resulting in pollution.She further claimed adding that the truckers are plying without proper documents and evading revenue of the state.a

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