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Garo group from Khasi Hills charges NGT with delay tactics on coal probe

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Shillong, Jan 4: Alleging large-scale illegal coal extraction and export from mines in South West Khasi Hills district, a Garo organization from the area called the United A’chik Youth Federation (UANF) has charged the National Green Tribunal, the sentinels in protecting the nation’s environment, of deliberate delaying tactics into launching an investigation into the coal auction order given by the of Ranikor Civil Sub-Division magistrate or ADC alleging discrepancies in the coal figure.

The President of the federation, Sanggra Marak, on Monday, gave a statement mentioning that the actual amount of coal available for auction has been falsified.

“A complaint on the matter was filed by the federation to the Chairman of the NGT on December 7 last year, but no action had been taken till date,” said Marak.

“We want to ask how a completely unreal and fabricated figure of the quantity of coal could be brought to auction when in reality it doesn’t exist. This clearly indicates the existence and practice of rat-hole mining even after prohibition has been imposed over it by the Supreme Court. This also shows that fresh mining is being done to balance off the quantity mentioned in the order,” alleged the United A’chik Youth Federation.

The federation has for long been alleging that illegal mining is taking place and attempts by officials at the behest of politicians to pass them off as coal auctioned is being carried out not just in their district but even in Jaintia and Garo Hills.

South West Khasi Hills, particularly Borsora and Nongjri, are coal-rich areas where rat hole mining has long been happening.

The UAYF has threatened to launch an agitation against the auction of illegal coal unless an investigation is launched by the NGT.

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