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SC rejects miners’ plea on coal transportation

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NGT had banned rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya

The Supreme Court has rejected pleas by miners in Meghalaya to let trucks move coal in transit before a transportation ban came into effect.

The deadline for transportation of extracted coal was being extended since April 2014 when the National Green Tribunal banned rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya.

But after at least 16 miners were trapped in a flooded mine at Ksan in the East Jaintia Hills district on December 13, the apex court refused to allow the transportation of extracted and assessed coal beyond January 31. On January 15, the court further said there would be no transportation of coal lying at sites.

The State Coordination Committee of Coal Miners and Dealers’ Forum had subsequently filed a petition for allowing their trucks that were in transit as on January 15 to transport their coal and also to pass through government check posts and weigh bridges to their respective destinations.

The court also did not entertain the plea of another miner who wanted to transport coal he had procured legally from a dealer.

The court is likely to hear on March 28 a petition by one Lber Laloo for lifting the ban on coal mining by the NGT.

The Supreme Court hearing coincided with Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma informing the Assembly that over 1,000 cases of illegal coal mining have been registered since the NGT ban came into effect.

Meanwhile, on Monday an overloaded coal truck overturned in the district, reportedly killing four people. According to district SP V. Singh, the driver lost control due to high speed. But, he said, the local police did not find any bodies.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:32:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sc-rejects-miners-plea-on-coal-transportation/article26516045.ece

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