The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of 100 crore rupees on Meghalaya government for its failure to curb illegal coal mining in the state.
The amount of the fine has to be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board within two months. The action comes after a high-level committee submitted an adverse report to a bench headed by NGT chairperson AK Goel.
The report stated that majority of the mines in the state are operating without a lease or licence.
Senior advocate Raj Panjawani is assisting the tribunal as an amicus curiae in the matter. He said, during the hearing, Meghalaya government admitted that a large number of mines are operating illegally.
At least 15 miners are trapped in the 370 foot-deep illegal coal mine in Lumthari village of East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya since December 13. All efforts to pump the water out of flooded mine have been in vain.