Sunday, June 16, 2024

Mining and Geology dept begins inquiry


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Allegations of encroachment in forest lands by Jaintia Hills-based cement cos

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: State Mining and Geology department has finally initiated an inquiry into the alleged use of forest land by cement companies operating in Jaintia Hills district.

Speaking to The Shillong Times, Deputy Chief Minister and in charge Mining and Geology, Bindo M Lanong, said, “Our department officials are inquiring into the reports.”

According to Lanong, the department will take around one week to complete the inquiry into the reports that some cement companies were violating the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

Earlier, the Opposition NCP had demanded for an inquiry into the alleged use of forest land by Jaintia Hills-based cement plants.

The NCP had alleged that Top Cem, Star Cement, JUD Cement, Adhunik Cement, 3 Best and Hills Cement were violating the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 by operating in the middle of forested land.

Lanong said that stringent action would be taken against any company found to be violating the Act.

It is learnt that the there is a rapid decline of forest cover in the district since the cement companies have set up their plant by putting to the axe a large number of trees.

The NCP is also contemplating to move the Central Government to intervene to protect the forest land from exploitation at the hands of the cement companies in Jaintia Hills.

The NCP had also accused the JHADC of issuing NOC to these

companies without verifying the location of these cement companies while claming that the Central Government had released maps which clearly indicate that the cement plants have come up in forested areas.

“I am also going to visit these cement companies soon to inquire into the matter,” Lanong added.


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