NGT Directs Meghalaya Government To File Counter Affidavits Against Illegal Coke Plants Operating In East Jaintia Hills

Posted in Featured, Meghalaya, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

Despite repeated tragedies, Meghalaya Government has been struggling to put a halt on illegal coke plants, operating across the northeastern state.

Likewise, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) with a view to curb such illegal minings have directed the state government’s Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB), the deputy commissioner of East Jaintia Hills, and State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to file their responses based on a petition filed by the Environment Coordination Committee (ECC) of Elaka Sutnga, claiming about the ongoing functioning of illegal coke plants operating across the East Jaintia Hills District.

According to Shillong Times report, NGT recently heard the legal counsel of the ECC, Vivek Singh and directed all the respondents to file their counter-affidavits within four weeks.

Filed by the ECC on October 25, the petition clearly depicted its grave impacts on the environment.

The Committee further added that several Coke plants are operating in the state, by violating the environmental norms. According to the petition, some of these open coke ovens are located within 100-300 meters of human habitation.

The next hearing for the concerned matter has been listed on January 31, 2022.

Its worthy to note that recently the cabinet announced formation of expert panel to extensively study the repercussions of coke factories in the northeastern state.

The decision for the same has been undertaken after a Civil Society Organization (CSO) staged protest rallies in East Jaintia Hills for the permanent closure of illegal coke factories functioning across the district.

According to state’s Environment and Forest Minister James P.K. Sangma, the panel will recommend environmental safeguards to understand the impacts caused by these coke units.

Besides, the committee will also address public health issues, forest clearances and pollution load study.

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