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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

No license has been issued for mining of coal: Meghalaya tells HC


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Shillong: No license has been issued for mining of coal in Meghalaya in any form whatsoever, the state government told the High Court on Wednesday.

Advocate General Amit Kumar said that the State has forwarded the applications made by several parties seeking a license to undertake coal mining activities to the Centre.

The Central government has referred the applications to an expert body.

This was revealed during the hearing of the PIL on illegal coal mining in the Meghalaya High Court on Wednesday.

The State government also informed the Court that it has warned truck owners’ associations that firm action would be taken against the individual truckers and the parent association if there is any attempt to transport fresh illegally mined coal.

With regard to auction of the previously mined coal is concerned, the State government said that substantial progress has been made in terms of the timelines indicated in previous affidavits filed by the State and noticed in the orders passed by the High Court.

“Several steps have been taken to comply with the previous orders of the High Court in the matter, particularly relating to the auction of coal and to ensure that there is no mining of coal in the State at all or any transportation of coal otherwise than for auction of the previously mined coal,” the Advocate General said.

Meanwhile, the eighth interim report has been filed by Justice B P Katakey (retired) who has been appointed by the High Court to oversee the implementation of the directions issued by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the auction of previously illegally mined coal in accordance therewith.

The report made a summary of the directions issued by the Supreme Court and the NGT, the status of implementation of such directions, including orders passed in respect thereof in the present proceedings, and the action taken by the State government in such regard.

The third part of the report deals with coke oven plants and ferro alloy plants where coal is used as an ingredient.

The High Court has directed that a copy of the eighth interim report of Justice Katakey dated November 7, 2022 be given to the State government.

The Court also directed that others represented in the present proceedings can obtain copies of the report from the State government.

Meanwhile, the Court has fixed the next hearing on the matter will be held on December 7.

In the meantime, the High Court has directed that another ad hoc remuneration of Rs 2 lakh be paid to Justice Katakey.

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