The National Green Tribunal (NGT,) on Friday, imposed a multi crore fine (Rs. 100 crores) on the Meghalaya Government.
The NGT accused the State Government of failing to restrict illegal mining in Meghalaya. With regard to this, the NGT said, in spite of the ban on rat hole coal mining in Meghalaya in April 2014, the practice continues to be followed across the State.
A.K. Goel, the Chairperson of NGT, imposed the heavy fine and ordered the Meghalaya Government to hand over the required amount to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within 2 months.
Speaking about the fine, the NGT stated, the Meghalaya Government can recover the 100 crore rupees from those mining firms which continue to practice illegal mining. The Government can then deposit the amount to the CPCB.
According to the NGT reports, apart from following illegal mining techniques, there are many mining firms in Meghalaya which are operating without a license.
The series of actions against the State Government were taken after the Government failed to save the 15 miners trapped in a 370 feet deep illegal rat hole mine since the 13th of December.
Reviewing the current situation, the Supreme Court (SC,) on Friday, lashed out at the State Government for their slow and ineffective rescue work. The Court further asked the State Government to submit a detailed report about the progress of their rescue operations.
Although the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Rescue Force (SDRF) are conducting operations to rescue the miners, the miners are still fighting for their lives. The State also sought help from other States, such as Odisha, to carry out the rescue operations.
Stay tuned for further updates about the story.