SHILLONG, May 31 � The banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council has threatened to call a 12-hour bandh in Khasi-Jaintia Hills on June 3 if the National Green Tribunal (NGT) doesn�t revoke its ban on rat-hole coal mining and its transportation in Meghalaya.
The outfit said in a statement that the livelihood of many people has been affected due to the ban on coal mining.
The NGT is slated to sit for a hearing in the State Capital here on June 2. The State Government is also filing a compliance report on the order of the Tribunal to ban rat-hole mining and transportation of coal which the Tribunal termed as �illegal.� The NGT passed the order after the All Dimasa Student�s Union and Dima Hasao District Committee filed a petition stating that the acidic discharge from the coal mines of Jaintia Hills has affected the Kopili river in Assam.
The Government has complied with the order and now heaps of coal, which has been extracted before the NGT order, now lie strewn around in several parts of the State, especially in Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills.
Apart from the HNLC, several other individuals have also sought that the ban be revoked. Most of these have cited the State�s unique land tenure system under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution that gives the people sole right over their land in the State.
There has also been a growing demand from many quarters to implement the State Mining and Mineral Policy. The State does not have one, although such a policy has been drafted, but is yet to be adopted.
The State Government is also likely to come up with some suggestion before the Tribunal, so that coal mining in the State is allowed to continue. The State Government is likely to assure to the Tribunal that coal mining would not affect the environment as requisite safeguards would be put in place.
Meanwhile, the NGT has postponed its June 2 hearing to June 9. The NGT said that all hearings slated to be held in Shillong would now be held on June 9 instead of June 2. There are two cases on coal mining that is to be heard in the State capital.