Saturday, April 13, 2024

Illegal rat-hole coal mining thrives in East Jaintia Hills despite ban


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SHILLONG, Feb 4: The illegal coal mining in East Jaintia Hills is still continuing in many of the areas.
Reliable sources told The Shillong Times on Sunday revealed that illegal mining of coal is continuing in areas like Rangad, Musniang, Sakhain, Moolymeng, Syrwang and Moolait Bri Sutnga.
According to the sources, illegal mining continues in most of the mining areas in East Jaintia Hills despite the NGT ban.
In addition, illegal coal mining has resumed in Saipung area. Earlier, the illegal mining activity was restricted to the Elaka Sutnga.
The sources also claimed that the district administration is aware of the illegal mining activities. The district police are doing nothing and coal-laden trucks are plying freely in broad daylight through Nangbah area, avoiding the highways and the main roads, they said.
It was also alleged that the coal mines belong to locals but the people who are actually controlling the coal business in the district are from outside the state.
“Every Sunday you can see some people arriving in posh cars like Mercedes and BMW at the coal mines to pay the wages of the labourers engaged in the illegal mining,” the sources said.
They stated that the government is taking about scientific mining, but there is no sign of where scientific mining would take place since the traditional rat-hole mining business is thriving in the district.
The sources went on to claim that recently a labourer died in one of the coal mines in the district but the news was not circulated in the media.
They added that the cement plants and coke factories in the district are dependent on the illegal coal for power.


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