Meghalaya HC asks CS to stop illegal mining in state without delay

Shillong, Mar 8 (PTI) The Meghalaya High Court has directed the state chief secretary to ensure that illegal mining activities are stopped without delay, and a committee free from political interference be set up to monitor the implementation of Supreme Court’s directions and recommendations on the issue.

The three-member full bench of the High Court took up the matter after its recent visit to East Jaintia Hills district along with Chief Secretary R.V. Suchiang to see in person the situation in connection with illegal mining activities in the area.

“Reports have been filed by the chief secretary and director general of police indicating that some actions have been taken. However, it is evident that the directions issued by the Supreme Court have not been adhered to … It is necessary to monitor the mining activities,” the HC bench said on Monday.

It is surprising that the state did not use drone photography to monitor the mining activities in the less accessible areas, the court said, as it came down heavily on the district administration, the magistrates, sub-divisional officers and officers at the block level along with their counterparts from the police.

“All of them turned a Nelson’s eye to such illegal activities. It can be safely said that the scene in and around Khliehriat speaks of the vast stretches there being beyond the purview of the administration. It is impossible that the illegal mining activities and the deposit of freshly mined coal would be conducted with such impunity without the possible connivance of the local administration or even worse,” the bench said.

The Leaflet