Guwahati: The Assam Jatiya Parishad(AJP) submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against illegal coal mining running in Assam and other North Eastern states.
“The Government is already aware that illegal mining of coal, which has continued unabated for decades in India’s northeastern states particularly Assam and its neighbouring states Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh etc, has been causing large-scale destruction to one of the country’s finest rainforests
located in the north eastern region,” the memorandum stated.
It further said, “In 2014 “National Green Tribunal of India” banned the illegal mining of coal by Rat-Hole Mining method. But unfortunately “Rat- Hole Mining continuing unabated in the Tinsukia and Karbi-Anglong districts of Assam. It was reported in the media that the government even accepted awareness of the situation on the ground when it stated before Parliament on November 22, 2019 that the Assam government was aware of illegal coal mining at the Digboi Forest Division. Action has been initiated against some officials from the forest department for “dereliction of duty.” The department reportedly identified the forest zone of Tirap and Tipong as being impacted by illegal coal mining,”.
“Government of Assam constituted an one man commission “Justice (Retd) BK Kakoty Commission,” and the commission categorically reported the continuation of the illegal “Rat- Hole Mining” in the state. The report also highlighted the serious impact and danger of the de- forestation and its impact to ecological imbalance. Needless to mention that it has a serious impact on the overall environment and damage the ecology of the area. The Justice (Retd) B P Katakey Commission reportedly mentioned in its report that the NEC had illegally mined coal worth Rs.48.72 billion ($650 million),” AJP stated.
It further said, “The Gauhati High Court has directed the Tinsukia District Judge to survey Tikok Extension OCP in Margherita and place for the record the proceedings whether any mining is taking place or not, and if yes, through and by whom. The High Court has also said that the Tinsukia District Judge can take technical assistance for preparing sketches. The High Court has further directed the State Government to arrange for the visit of the Tinsukia District Judge to the place of mining-Tikok Extension OCP in Margherita – over the land in Ledo,”.
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