Analyzing the Need to Reinstate the NGT Ban with Respect to Meghalaya’s Rat-Hole Mines

Authors

  • Antony Moses National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12728/culj.16.2

Keywords:

Sixth Schedule, Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, B.P Katakey Commission, Mines Act, 1952, Acid-Mine Drainage

Abstract

On 13th December 2018, 15 miners were trapped in a rat-hole mine in the East Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya. This incident happened despite the ban imposed and the detailed guidelines laid down by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2014, in response to the South Garo Hills incident. As of date, no concrete legislative measures have been implemented by the State Government of Meghalaya, nor by the respective autonomous District Councils to regulate coal-mining. Clothed with the protection conferred by the Sixth Schedule, the State harbors rampant scientific mining practices, and its administration argues that it is a necessity for the economic development of the State. As a result, agriculture has been brought to a standstill and the coal mafia plaguing the State has received an added impetus. Rehabilitation of citizens remains a distant dream and the Sixth Schedule protection afforded to the State, facilitates exploitation instead of protecting the masses. This article will argue strongly for the continuation of the NGT Ban and analyze and counter popular arguments that have been presented for the legalization of coal mining in Meghalaya.

References

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Navy Robot located body in Meghalaya mine, THE HINDU (Jan. 18, 2019),https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/body-of-one-of-15 trapped- meghalaya- miners-found-by-naval-divers/article26010931.ece. 66 See BP KATAKEY COMM’N REPORT, supra note 13, at 40. 67 See Karmakar, supra note 5.68 Meghalaya CM pushes for regulated coal mining, THE HINDU (Jan. 19, 2019), https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ meghalaya-cm-pushes-for-regulated-coal-mining/article26030691.ece[hereinafter Meghalaya CM] 69 Legalise Coal mining in Meghalaya, THE HINDU, Dec. 30, 2018, at 9.

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Rat-hole mining rampant in Meghalaya despite the NGT ban, THE ECONOMIC TIMES (Dec. 25, 2018), https:// economictimes .indiatimes. com/ news/ politics-and-nation/rat-hole-mining- rampant -in-meghalaya-despite-ngt-ban/articleshow/67242097.cms 132 March Order, supra note 81, at 6.133 MINISTRY OF MINES, Proceedings of the workshop on “Remediation of Mined – Out and Abandoned Mines– Status and Strategies” (Dec. 19, 2016),https:// mines.gov.in/ writereaddata/ UploadFile/ proceedings5.pdf.

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2020-01-01