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JSU concerned over functioning of cement plants in East Jaintia Hills

HP NEWS SERVICE
Shillong, Jan 15: The Jaintia Students Union (JSU)has expressed concern over the way cement companies in East Jaintia Hills are functioning.
The JSU said that it has come to their notice that many of the cement companies and their subsidiaries in the district are not having any proper mining lease to extract limestone for their producing clinkers.
The JSU has filed an RTI with the office of The Director of Mineral Resource, Shillong, on the mining lease issued to the cement plants in East Jaintia Hills district.
The student body said that it would approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to take action against the cement companies who extract limestone illegally or purchase limestone which are illegally mined.
The president of the student union Lawyerson War had on September 16, last year filed a PIL with the objective of stopping the issuance of challans by the forest department, for transporting illegally mined limestone as it is not mentioned in the Meghalaya Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 2016.
The JSU alleged that the illegal mining activities are still flourishing in both East and West Jaintia Hills district.
“We request the concerned authority to totally ban illegal minor minerals mining, and take actions against those frequent offenders by asking them to rehabilitate the illegal mining areas and punish them as per the rule 36 of the MMMCR, 2016 and the section 21(2)(4)(4a) of the MMDR ACT,1957,” the JSU said.
According to the students’ body it was deeply concerned about the environmental damage caused by illegal mining due leading to destructions of flora, fauna and the atmosphere.
The JSU also said that it has also cause a huge loss to the state exchequer due to tax evasions, nonpayment of royalties and loss of livelihood of stake holder in the mining areas.
The student body also said that it was grateful to the NGT Panel who had recommended actions against the erring companies for the use of illegally mined coal in their plant, and also the Meghalaya Lokayukta for ordering a CBI inquiry into the alleged rackets involved in the transportation of coal and limestone.