NGT penalises Meghalaya govt for failing to curb illegal coal mining

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a very heavy fine on the Meghalaya government for failing to curb illegal coal mining in the state.

NGT chairperson AK Goel imposed a fine worth Rs 100 crore on the state for its inaction to curb illegal mining, after a recent report filed in the NGT stated that most of the mines were operating in the state without a license.

The NGT also stated that the fine amount can be recovered from illegal miners and concerned officials, and directed the amount to be deposited in the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within two months.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday directed the Union of India and Meghalaya government to file a status report in the case by Monday. It also asked the state government and Centre to file a detailed report on the action taken to rescue the 15 workers trapped in East Jaintia Hills since December 13.

As many as 15 miners have been trapped in a 370-feet deep illegal mine in Lumthari village since December 13, when the water from the nearby river Lutein flooded the mine.

In the latest development, the water has been pumped out of the old shaft and is said to have receded by 3.5 feet.