National Green Tribunal directs Meghalaya to submit coal mining plan in 6 weeks
NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has come down heavily on Meghalaya government for not framing the coal mining plan for safety of workers and directed it submit the guidelines within six weeks.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar took strong objection to the illegal mining going on in the state despite “specific and complete prohibitory orders” and to the Meghalaya government’s non-compliance and inability to execute and comply with the directions of the Tribunal.
“It is indisputable that orders of the Tribunal have been violated without exception. The transportation of coal has continued without taking any environmental protection measures and without strictly complying with the guidelines framed by the committee and Meghalaya.
“Without hesitation, we record our disapproval, for the said conduct of Meghalaya in not formulating appropriate policy and guidelines despite orders of the Tribunal, even after lapse of a period of one year. The mining in the state cannot be permitted till the time such policy and mining plan/map is prepared by the state government,” the bench said.
The Tribunal also refused to agree with the state government’s submission of “lack of force” for its failure to execute the directions and directed the Additional Secretary, North East in the Home Ministry to hold a meeting with the Meghalaya Chief Secretary within a period of two weeks and consider the proposal for deployment of appropriate force.
The green bench also allowed transportation of the coal strictly in accordance with the guidelines prepared by the committee under Additional Chief Secretary K S Kropha and orders of the Tribunal and environmental protection measures for carriage of such coal.
It directed that all weigh bridges on 12 approved points in the state shall be made operative within four weeks and they shall maintain due computerized record of all the coal that is permitted to be transported.