HC stay order on coal mining in Jaintia Hills village
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: In a judgment that could have far-reaching implications on coal and limestone mining in Meghalaya, the Shillong Bench of the Gauhati High Court recently decided to extend the stay order which prohibits coal mining activities in Diemshalalu village under Rymbai Elaka in Jaintia Hills district.
While hearing the petition filed by the Diemshalalu village dorbar questioning the illegal mining activities within the residential areas of the village on October 18 last, Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court Madan Bhimarao Lokur issued this order after the Government and the private parties, Diwi Lyngdoh and Beautiful Dkhar who are the respondents in this case, had sought more time to file their replies.
It may be reminded that the Chief Justice had earlier issued the stay order in this connection with this case on October 12 last.
The village had first reported the matter to the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) who is also the SDO of Khliehriat and the police on the illegal mining activities in the village.
Initially, by an order issued on July 29 last, the ADC had stopped mining activities in the village.
In another order issued on September 23 last, the ADC again allowed resumption of mining activities on the plea that other people are allowed to carry out mining activities in and around the villages and hence Diwi Lyngdoh and Beautiful Dkhar should not be singled out and prevented from mining.
Meanwhile the villagers challenged the findings of the ADC that other people are allowed to carry out mining activities in the village, which they said was factually incorrect.
Challenging this order of the ADC, the village dorbar decided to file a writ petition before the Gauhati High Court.
In the writ petition, the village dorbar stated that use of explosives and unscientific mining is posing a threat to the life and property of the villagers. The village dorbar had also questioned whether miners can use explosives with explosive license being granted by the district magistrate.
The village dorbar has also questioned whether mining can be resorted to without the mandatory notice to the District Magistrate as well as license being granted under provision of the Mines Act, 1952 and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
When contacted, SS Dey, the counsel of the petitioner, said the final order issued by the court will have wide ramifications in the State considering the prevailing illegal mining activities in Jaintia Hills and other parts of the State.
Source: The Shillong Times