SHILLONG: West Khasi Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner PS Dkhar has issued an order banning mining of limestone at Nongtalang and Amtapoh villages in the district.
When contacted, Dkhar informed that he issued the order on Saturday last after receiving a petition from the traditional bodies in the areas expressing their concern over the degradation of the environment due to rampant mining of limestone.
Dkhar further informed that limestone is extracted from Nongtalang area for export to Bangladesh through the Dawki port in East Khasi Hills district and the large-scale mining activities have resulted in at least 17 drinking water sources in Banan, Amtapoh and Nongtalang villages in the district becoming contaminated.
Acting on the petition filed by the local bodies, the West Jaintia Hills district administration carried out an inspection of the mining areas and compiled a report that stated that the areas afflicted included Nongtalang and Amtapoh as mining activities have gone beyond any permissible unit and without any restriction.
“Mining operations have caused damage to perennial and natural sources of water which is a lifeline to villages of Nongtalang and adjoining areas,” Dkhar said.
Earlier, the traditional bodies of the areas also sent a petition to Union Minister of Forest and Environment, Jayanthi Natarajan, on the illegal mining of limestone all along the Nongtalang stretch.