NGT asks Meghalaya police to crack whip on illegal mining

Why no reports on result of mining workers trapped in mines in from Meghalaya in operation to rescue 15 miners trapped in a 370-feet deep illegal mine in the Lumthari village.
National Green Tribunal thus propelled to call for action on this national disasterate.
A month after 15 miners were trapped in a coal mine, search operations for which is still underway, a three-member committee of the National Green Tribunal has asked the Meghalaya Police to investigate into nearly 1200 cases of illegal quarrying across the state.
The green tribunal had imposed a blanket ban on coal mining and transportation in Meghalaya in 2014, citing unscientific methods and absence of safety measures.
The three-member NGT committee, constituted in August last year, is currently studying the environmental aspects of rat-hole mining in the state.
An official said the police have been told that their probe should reach a logical conclusion after taking into account all 1200 cases of illegal rat-hole mining in East Garo Hills, South-West Khasi Hills and West and East Jaintia Hills districts.
Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually 3-4 feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often termed “rat-holes”, as each just about fits one person.
On December 13, water from nearby Lytein river flooded a network of tunnels in a coal mine in Lumthari village of East Jaintia Hills, trapping 15 men and prompting a rescue attempt that has failed to yield any result so far.
That mining goes on unabated in the state can be gauged from the fact that heaps of freshly dug coal is dumped on both sides of the road that approaches Lumthari from Khliehriat, the district headquarters of East Jaintia Hills.
Meanwhile, official sources said the NGT committee, which has sought police investigation into the registered cases of illegal mining, is set to visit the state by January-end.

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