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CSWO alleges rampant mining in East Jaintia Hills

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 Jan 2017 12:00 AM GMT

FROM A REPORTER

SHILLONG, Jan 15: In spite of strict orders of the NGT against mining in Meghalaya, the CSWO alleged that in most areas in the East Jaintia Hills district, there is rampant mining especially in areas falling under Elaka Nongkhlieh and Elaka Sutnga.

According to CSWO, there was mining being carried out there and there was also destruction of plantation and forest by those carrying out the illegal mining, taking away the livelihood of others and putting at risk thousands of lives.

The NGT order has presently stopped all coal mining in Meghalaya and no fresh mining is allowed, but what was evident on the January 14, 2017, there were many coal mines actively being mined by miners and they used machine with generator to haul up the coal and to let down the miners, to a height of 400-500 ft depending on the availability of the coal in total violation of NGT orders.

The orders of the NGT allows the transportation only of extracted coal and on going towards East Jaintia Hills District from Lad Rymbai onwards, all Coal Depots were empty except for only little coal left, and it was noticed that new freshly dug up coal was being brought into certain depots especially in Lad Sutnga area and Soo Kilo area.

These newly fresh dug coal are being brought in from many forest areas falling in Sutnga Elaka and Nongkhlieh Elaka. “We were also informed that all the coal miners were from outside the State such as from Assam (Barpeta, Kallain, Silchar, Karimganj, Badarpur ), Karbi Anglong, Nepal, etc. the workers in the mining areas had no work permit and most of them told us that they had just come a week ago and some were there just few days before and they were staying in the make shift camps,” CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing said.

She said there are also new areas being dug up for coal extraction and speaking to the coal miners (all from outside the State) they told us that they have reached 300 feet but have not yet reached the coal and were still digging down and some going right under the caves which are world famous like ‘Krem Shrieh, Krem Liatprah, which now may be in grave danger of Collapsing taking many villages down too as most of these villages are located on top of these caves. The villagers also told us they could hear blasting being carried out which shook the whole area almost every night.

The CSWO leader claimed that there were some villagers of the Elaka Nongkhlieh who informed that some residents of Elaka Sutnga had come to forcefully grab land, in order to mine coal from the year 2011, in their areas and since they bulldozed the area for roads leading to the quarries, they have destroyed the vegetation and means of livelihood of the villagers in the Elaka of Nongkhlieh, without having a thought for these people who survived on these forests and even threatened some owners with threats of lynching them.

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