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Illegal coal mining rampant in Margherita, admits Coal India

By ANN Service

DIGBOI, Jan 2 - The Margherita-based Coal India Limited administration operating under North Eastern Coalfields (NEC) in Margherita has admitted that illegal coal mining activities are going on near the mines of Tirap and Tikak Collieries in its letter Ref No. NEC/GM/18/168/187 to the Deputy Commissioner Tinsukia dated December 21, 2018.

While apprising the district administration of the menace of illegal coal mining and related law and order problems faced by the North Eastern Coalfields in its mining operations, the administration underlining the Meghalaya Mining Tragedy of December 13 last, stated that the cause of the accident was mainly due to unscientific and hazardous methods of illegal mining. �Such serious illegal coal mining accidents may happen anytime on the Assam-Arunachal border also where rampant illegal mining is being undertaken,� the letter said adding �that the NEC has been facing been facing the plight of illegal coal mining near the mines of Tikak and Tirap collieries in Margherita�. It is pertinent to add here that most of the collieries or the mining sites or the extracted coal depots in Margherita are located along the Assam-Arunachal border of Tinsukia district of Assam and Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Meanwhile, admitting its inadequate security strength, the Coal India administration said that the unknown illegal miners in groups with arms descends from the adjacent hills and dig out coal in an unscientific and hazardous manner even confronting the security personnel.

On the other hand, there is no denying the fact that the hazardous illegal mining of raw coal is being carried out in an extensive way under the very nose of the Coal India administration and security agencies in various border hilly terrain using the �rat-hole technique�. Collusion between politicians, the state machinery and mine owners, is alleged to be the primary reason for illegal mining in Margherita, Ledo, Lekhapani and Jagun areas despite the ban.

�The death of illegal miners, most of the time, goes unrecorded�, said a poor daily coal extractor of Ledo who earns his livelihood selling the illegally procured coal to local traders. Despite the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal, mining of fresh coal is continuing unabated at the cost of the ecology and environment resulting in a sharp rise in man-animal conflict and pollution. �Namphai Reserve Forest which has already fallen prey to human encroachment has also been facing the menace of illegal rat hole mining�, alleged one activist of the local NGO Green Buds society. �The long and unstructured parking of hundreds of loaded and unloaded vehicles stranded along the roads from Margherita to Lekhapani may cause road accident any time,� lamented an office bearer of the Margherita unit of AJYCP.

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Illegal coal mining rampant in Margherita, admits Coal India

DIGBOI, Jan 2 - The Margherita-based Coal India Limited administration operating under North Eastern Coalfields (NEC) in Margherita has admitted that illegal coal mining activities are going on near the mines of Tirap and Tikak Collieries in its letter Ref No. NEC/GM/18/168/187 to the Deputy Commissioner Tinsukia dated December 21, 2018.

While apprising the district administration of the menace of illegal coal mining and related law and order problems faced by the North Eastern Coalfields in its mining operations, the administration underlining the Meghalaya Mining Tragedy of December 13 last, stated that the cause of the accident was mainly due to unscientific and hazardous methods of illegal mining. �Such serious illegal coal mining accidents may happen anytime on the Assam-Arunachal border also where rampant illegal mining is being undertaken,� the letter said adding �that the NEC has been facing been facing the plight of illegal coal mining near the mines of Tikak and Tirap collieries in Margherita�. It is pertinent to add here that most of the collieries or the mining sites or the extracted coal depots in Margherita are located along the Assam-Arunachal border of Tinsukia district of Assam and Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Meanwhile, admitting its inadequate security strength, the Coal India administration said that the unknown illegal miners in groups with arms descends from the adjacent hills and dig out coal in an unscientific and hazardous manner even confronting the security personnel.

On the other hand, there is no denying the fact that the hazardous illegal mining of raw coal is being carried out in an extensive way under the very nose of the Coal India administration and security agencies in various border hilly terrain using the �rat-hole technique�. Collusion between politicians, the state machinery and mine owners, is alleged to be the primary reason for illegal mining in Margherita, Ledo, Lekhapani and Jagun areas despite the ban.

�The death of illegal miners, most of the time, goes unrecorded�, said a poor daily coal extractor of Ledo who earns his livelihood selling the illegally procured coal to local traders. Despite the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal, mining of fresh coal is continuing unabated at the cost of the ecology and environment resulting in a sharp rise in man-animal conflict and pollution. �Namphai Reserve Forest which has already fallen prey to human encroachment has also been facing the menace of illegal rat hole mining�, alleged one activist of the local NGO Green Buds society. �The long and unstructured parking of hundreds of loaded and unloaded vehicles stranded along the roads from Margherita to Lekhapani may cause road accident any time,� lamented an office bearer of the Margherita unit of AJYCP.

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