16 March 2021.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) have established an oversight committee on March 15, 2021 comprising of twelve members in order to prevent the unregulated and Unscientific mining in Meghalaya. The committee was established after the NGT observed that rat-hole mining is so often in Meghalaya despite the government has put ban on it.
- The bench is headed by NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.
- The bench highlighted that the state authorities are bound to work for the protection of scarce natural resources in accordance with the “Public Trust Doctrine”.
- It was further highlighted that, the monitoring cannot continue forever, so task needs to be taken by the executive authorities which will then be overseen by the oversight committee.
About Oversight Committee
- It will be headed by Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Regional Officer of the MoEF of Shillong will act as the Member Secretary of this Committee.
- The member secretary will coordinate with the working of Committee and will deal with day-to-day issues as per the decisions of Committee.
- This committee will be meeting within one month to take report of the situation and plan for the future actions.
- The committee will take forward the compliance of the judgment given by the Supreme Court.
- The committee will also order the Tribunal to prevent the unscientific & unregulated mining.
- It will also involve in handling the materials which are already mined and other incidental issues. It might undertake necessary measures in order to rejuvenate the contaminated streams and rivers.
Rat Hole Mining
- The digging of narrow horizontal tunnels which is usually 3-4 feet in height through which the workers can enter and extract coal is called as the “Rat Hole Mining”. Each hole just fits one person.