Govt assures action against 31 illegal coke units in EJH

SHILLONG, Sep 20: The NPP-led MDA Government has assured punitive action against 31 illegal coke plants operating under Elaka Sutnga in East Jaintia Hills even as it has reiterated formation of a committee of experts to examine the pollution load caused by the coke units.
The assurance was made by Forest and Environment Minister, James PK Sangma to a delegation of the Environment Coordination Committee (ECC) of Elaka Sutnga, which called on him on Monday after the end of the five-day deadline issued by the group for closure of all illegal operating coke plants in the Elaka.
ECC’s legal adviser, Reading War said that the government is yet to decide the names to be empanelled in the expert committee. East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner, Ethelbert Kharmalki has sought more time to take action against the illegal coke plants after the five-day deadline ended on Saturday, War said.
“We are going to meet the DC to take stock of the measures being adopted by the district administration against the illegal coke plants,” War said.
Speaking about their meeting with the Forest Minister, the ECC legal adviser said, “We have made it clear that there should be permanent closure of all the 31 illegal coke plants since they had begun their operations after getting the Single Window Agency (SWA) clearance and without obtaining the Consent To Operate (CTO) permission,” he said.

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