HITO moves Meghalaya government over illegal coke factories
The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) has issued a complaint with the Chairperson, Assembly Committee on Environment, Government of Meghalaya
SHILLONG: The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) has issued a complaint with the Chairperson, Assembly Committee on Environment, Government of Meghalaya, SK Sunn against the illegal coke factories situated at East Jaintia Hills District Meghalaya.
Stating that there are about 25 coke factories in active operation daily in the East Jaintia Hills district, Donbok Dkhar, president of HITO said, "We are more shocked to learn that most of these factories are running without obtaining prior permission from the concerned authority. They are violating the environmental norms and procedures threatening the environment and ecology of the area at large."
He said the organization, having active and trusted members in the district, have received numerous complaints from the public that these factories are affecting the quality of air in and around their areas of operations affecting the health conditions of the people living in the area.
"We have also learnt that these factories have also bypassed the JHADC authorities by indicating that they have obtained clearances of the Single Window Agency of the State government," he said.
The HITO leader also said that it is a known fact that all business establishments were asked to shut down during this pandemic, but it is surprising to see that all these coke factories continue to function as usual putting workers and residents at risks.
"Being a social organization working for the welfare of the people of the region, we would like your kind office to take note of our complaint and act accordingly," he said.
Dkhar further said that it is a known fact that these coke factories run on coal.
"We are also aware that coal mining and transportation has been banned across the State pending proper permission following adherence to environmental laws and workers safety. If this is the case, aren't these factories promoting illegal and unsafe extraction of coal? Who authorized transportation of coal feeding these factories?" Dkhar questioned.
"Several miners are trapped inside an illegal mine operated in the Umpleng area of the district. We are also aware of the presence of many unsafe and illegal coal pits in operation in the district. Based on our survey and inputs, we demand from the government to stop all illegalities forthwith dealing with coal mining, transportation and to ensure that such factories, if set up legally, should not affect the air quality for the common people," he said.
The organization also hopes that Sunn will intervene in the matter and if the government needed will shut down all the illegal coke factories that are located in the East Jaintia Hills District areas.