In a decisive move, the Meghalaya High Court has issued a stern directive for the swift removal of 1.5 lakh metric tons (MT) of re-inventoried coal from the East Jaintia Hills district by the end of February. The court’s order, stemming from a public interest litigation (PIL) addressing illegal coal mining and transportation within the state, reflects a commitment to address environmental and legal concerns.
Justice Katakey’s Interim Report
Justice Katakey submitted the 20th interim report to the court, outlining the progress made in transporting re-inventorized coal from various districts. The court expressed satisfaction with the ongoing efforts in South Garo Hills, West Khasi Hills, and South West Khasi Hills, where the transportation process is expected to conclude by the end of February.
However, reports indicate that, despite available space in designated depots, authorities failed to issue transit passes for the remaining 1.5 lakh MT of coal in East Jaintia Hills. This delay prompted a strong reaction from the court, emphasizing the lack of prompt action by concerned parties.
The government attributed the delay to coal owners not approaching the Deputy Commissioner’s office. In response, the court emphasized the crucial need for wider dissemination of information. It urged the authorities to publish public notices to enhance awareness and facilitate a smoother process for coal owners.
Judicial Resolve for Timely Compliance
The court’s directive underscores its commitment to addressing environmental and legal issues associated with coal mining and transportation. The urgency expressed in the order reflects a determination to ensure compliance with regulations and avoid further delays in the removal of re-inventorized coal.
This legal intervention seeks to expedite the process and hold relevant parties accountable for timely and transparent coal transportation practices.