Shillong, Jan 29: The high court-appointed committee on coal issue headed by Justice ( retd) BP Katakey has said all mines should be closed as no miner got any permission to mine coal as per the MMDR Act.
“Till date, nobody got any permission or license to mine coal as per the MMDR Act”, Katakey told Meghalaya Monitor.
He said the mines existed even before the imposition of NGT ban or thereafter are illegal and hence these have to be closed.
“Otherwise, these will be a source of pollution, due to the acid mine drainage and people are drinking acidic water. I found during my inquiry at that point of time that the streams near the coal mines are highly acidic”, Katakey said.
He pointed out that in one of his earlier reports, he had mentioned that there were 33,000 rat hole mines operating in East Jaintia Hills alone.
He also said the NGT had appointed an oversight committee to look into the closure of existing rat hole mines.
Inquiry report sought
Katakey also sought a report from the government regarding the recent death of three coal miners in East Jaintia Hills.
The police had exhumed the bodies of the individuals who may have died in a coal mine in adjoining villages- Musniang Rim and Musniang.