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Update: illegal mining continues in Meghalaya despite dire consequences highlighted by recently trapped miners

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Fifteen men remain trapped in an illegal ‘rat hole’ coal mine in the East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya (India).

These mine workers have been trapped since 13 December after water from a nearby river leaked in, puncturing a mine wall.

Yet, according to a recent report submitted to the Supreme Court by a committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the “unabated illegal mining” in Meghalaya continues.

There are reportedly approximately 24 000 rate hole mines around Jaintia hills in Meghalaya, which are all owned by private bodies. 

In the interim report, the committee maintained that the ban imposed by the NGT in 2014 against rat hole mining across the state has been violated frequently.

The report also noted the admission by the Deputy Commissioner of the East Jaintia Hills District that these illegal mining activities are continuing.

“From the aforesaid materials available before the Committee, it is therefore evident that the coal mining activities, which includes the extraction of coal and transportation, is going in Meghalaya, at least in East Jaintia Hills District, where such mining activities are the most despite the ban imposed by the NGT vide order dated 17 April 2014,” stated the report provided by News18.

It added: “Very sincere and honest efforts are required on the part of the state government to stop the mining activities, which are going on without adopting any safety measures for the workers and without caring for adverse environmental effects.”

The report categorically added: “The result of the unabated illegal mining despite the ban by the NGT is the very tragic incident that occurred very recently on 13 December in a coal mine in Ksan village near Lytein River in East Jaintia Hills District where 15 coal mine workers are reported trapped.”

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