SHILLONG, Jan 29 � The National Green Tribunal (NGT) here today directed the continuation of the coal mining ban in Meghalaya. In another order, the tribunal said that unauthorised structures along the Wah Umkhrah and Umshyrpi streams in the state capital here be demolished within three months.
Judge UD Salvi said in his order that the ban on coal mining would continue in the State till its next hearing on April 16. The NGT directed the coalmine owners and dealers to pay royalty on the extracted coal within two weeks from today.
On the other hand, hearing on a different petition regarding pollution and cleaning of the Wah Umkhrah and Umshyrpi that cross through the heart of the state capital, the tribunal passed the second order to demolish unauthorised structures.
The NGT passed the order after a petition was filed by an environmentalist, Naba Bhattacharjee, who said the two streams were being polluted and needed to be reclaimed.
He further urged the Meghalaya Government and other government agencies and institutions to take immediate steps to formulate a time-bound action plan for reclamation and protection of the streams.
Justice Salvi, while passing his order, also directed the Deputy Commissioner, the Superintendent of Police of East Khasi Hills and the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority to assist in dismantling of the unauthorised structures.