TURA, May 5 - The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today removed all local commissioners with immediate effect after one of the petitioners was found to have taken up the role of a local commissioner.
Local commissioners were appointed by the State Government as well as Court to ensure the NGT orders are adhered to and any violations reported.
Rosanna Lyngdoh, one of the directors of Impulse, an NGO from Shillong, which was also one of the petitioners that led to the ban on coal mining in the State, had been acting as a local commissioner, without divulging the fact that she was a board member. A complaint was lodged with the NGT Court after which the decision was taken to remove all local commissioners for now.
�What she did was highly unethical. All local commissioners are supposed to be neutral in nature and her non- disclosure has made all reports of violations sketchy and non-reliable as being a petitioner her reports would definitely be biased as well,� said advocate Saurabh Sharma over phone from New Delhi, where the case is being heard.
Rosanna was allegedly appointed as a local commissioner in January 2015 and hid the fact that she was also director of Impulse. �Once we came to know the fact, we filed an application to have her removed as local commissioner to which the Court agreed. The Court, however, decided to remove all local commissioners and appoint fresh commissioners, both in Shillong and Delhi,� added Saurabh.
Meanwhile, a hearing on the application for the extension of transportation of coal will be heard on May 10.
�We are not really positive of an extension though the Court has hauled up the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) for the delay in mining plan. The MOEF has been directed to submit a report in the next hearing on May 10,� said Saurabh.
The last date of transportation of already mined coal remains May 15 with the Court directing the State to auction all remaining coal.