NGT panel asks govt to stop supplying acidic water

SHILLONG: The NGT appointed judicial panel headed by retired Judge BP Katoki on Monday asked the government to stop supplying acidic water in East Jaintia Hills.
“The most disturbing thing is about the water supply schemes in East Jaintia Hills and the PHE is supplying acidic water to the residents,” said Katoki, who chaired a meeting of the panel along with state government officials in the city on Monday.
According to Katoki, a direction was issued to purify the water from Tuesday.
“We got the quality of water checked and random checking was also done by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board. It was verified that the water is acidic,” Katoki said.
) He said there are 16-17 water supply schemes which provide acidic water.
“We have asked the government not to supply the acidic water and provide only purified water,” he said.
Govt gives Rs 1.51 crore
The state government also funded Rs 1.51 crore for improvement of acid content in rivers and to initiate controlled blasting to close abandoned mines by the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research.
The panel also decided to meet all the DCs and SPs for holding awareness camps and to chalk out measures to provide alternate employment opportunities to those who were affected after the ban on coal mining.
The panel will also enquire from the DCs the status of as many as 1,139 registered cases on coal mining related issues during the meeting on March 6.
The committee will meet on March 25.
The deputy commissioner of South Garo Hills also submitted a report about the death of 15 miners in July 2012 trapped inside a coal mine at Nengkol in the district.
“We have directed the government to find out the next of kin of the deceased so that compensation can be paid, if nothing was given to the affected families”, he said.
Two get compensation
Katoki said following the direction of the panel, the government awarded compensation to the families of two more miners — Elad Bareh and Monoj Basumatary — who were killed in a rat-hole mine on January 6 this year at Mooknor, Jalyiah village in East Jaintia Hills.

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