Illegal private coal mines around Balpakram national park, Meghalaya: report

This recent report on illegal coal mines around Balphakram NP in Meghalaya prepared by Dr Asad Rahmani recommends immediate ban on all mining activity within the national park & demands strict regulation of all coal mines in Garo Hills

The issue of illegal coal mining in Meghalaya is quite well-known due to media reports and opposition by many local people.  These private mines are in violation of Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and the Environment Protection Act, 1986 as no clearances have been applied for, or given.  Interestingly, these mines do not even have clearances under relevant mining related legislation such as  the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)) Act, Coal Nationalisation Act, Mines Act 1952 and many others.  This issue was brought up in the 15th meeting of the Standing Committee held on 17 July 2009.  In the 16th meeting of the Standing Committee, held on 16 September 2009, the Member-Secretary informed the Committee that a report has been received from the CWLW of Meghalaya which claims that the State Government has taken appropriate action ensuring that no violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act or distruction of forest takes place in the area which is also kept under watch.  However, after discussion, it was decided the Chief Conservator of Forests, North-Eastern Region, Shillong may be requested to inspect the area with Dr Asad Rahmani, Director, BNHS and submit a status report the earliest.

See Also

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Policy: Meghalaya Mining Policy 2009

Report: Coal & limestone extraction in Meghalaya

Report: Water quality in coal mining areas

Report: Impact of coal mining on vegetation

Feature: Biodiversity on the verge of extinction

Feature: SC upholds mining ban on Lafarge

Feature: Nuclear lives