Meghalaya Govt Failed To Comply NGT, SC Directions To Stop Illegal Mining: Report

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Meghalaya Govt Failed To Comply NGT, SC Directions To Stop Illegal Mining: Report

Justice (retd.) BP Katakey commission reported that the Meghalaya government did not follow directives issued by the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal on rampant illegal mining.

A 41-pages preliminary committee report was led by Justice (retd.) BP Katakey, whose findings pointed out the failure of Meghalaya's state government in curbing illegal mining activities, even after getting directives from the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal of India (NGT). This report was submitted to the Meghalaya High Court on May 23.

Failure Of Meghalayan Government

As cited in NE Now News, the committee report highlighted the state government's neglect to stop illegal mining. Except for cautioning through the Meghalaya Minerals (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage) Rules 2022, the government sat back and did not act according to the directives of SC and NGT.

According to Scroll, The Meghalaya High Court stated that "it is a matter of regret that orders are violated or not implemented by the state government." It further requested the responsible authorities to do so according to Justice Katakey's report findings and recommendations within four weeks.

High Court's Order

Hearing a public interest litigation case on rat-hole mining practices in East Jaintia Hills district in April 2022, Meghalaya HC had ordered to form the committee to look into the matter. The latest order also states that the time for implementation of the 'outstanding directives' of SC and NGT will be taken into account from the date when they were issued.

The Meghalaya HC has put Justice Katakey in charge of monitoring the execution of the report findings and the 'outstanding directives'. He will be making frequent visits to Shillong with a secretary from the civil servants from the state itself to ease the work.

Even after being banned in 2014, rat-hole mining is still prevalent in parts of Meghalaya. It was banned due to the unscientific and dangerous nature of the practice, where workers were expected to go into deep tunnels with depths of three to four feet to dig coal.

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