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7 Jan 2019

Scroll.in, India

India: National Green Tribunal imposes Rs 1 billion fine on Meghalaya government for illegal coal mining

"National Green Tribunal imposes Rs 100-crore fine on Meghalaya government for illegal coal mining", 5 January 2019

The National Green Tribunal on Friday [5 January] imposed a Rs 100-crore fine [1 billion Indian rupees] on the Meghalaya government for failing to check illegal coal mining in the state, PTI reported. The order comes as operations to rescue 15 miners trapped in an illegal rat-hole mine in East Jaintia Hills since December 13 is still under way.

A high-level committee had submitted a report to the tribunal...two days ago. The report said that a majority of mines in the state were operating without a lease or a licence...The tribunal said the fine was imposed on the state government as a deterrent and for its inaction to curb illegal mining...

On Thursday [3 January], the Supreme Court had expressed dissatisfaction with the rescue operation and asked why the Army had not been called in for its support. A day later, the top court asked the Centre and the Meghalaya government to file by January 7 a status report on the steps taken to rescue 15 workers...The entire rescue operation has been marred by poor communication and delayed responses from the government.