Meghalaya Northeast

Meghalaya: Protest against illegal Coke Factory, plant owners given ultimatum to shut

The residents of Elaka Sutnga in East Jaintia Hills under the banner of the Environment Coordination Committee (ECC) on Monday staged a protest against the illegal mushrooming of Coke Factory.

The ECC with the support of local headmen of the Elaka served an ultimatum to all the concerned regulatory authority/ authorities to close down all coke over plants within five days with immediate effect and take necessary action against the proprietors for irreparable loss that have been caused to the environment and life of people.

The people from all walks of life of Elaka Sutnga hit the streets against the alleged illegal come factory in East Jaintia which is posing a serious threat to the environment.

“These plants emitting dangerous gases and particulate matter which are beyond the permissible limit. These coke plants taking advantage of the CTO that they emit smoke and pollution into atmosphere without considering the serious impact on the ecology,” said a agitated protester.

The ECC said that they filed a complaint to the Deputy Comissioner on June 23, 2021 till date the complaint has never been accessed or received the status proceeding from your office under the purview of Section 133 CrPC.

In memorandum submitted to Deputy Commissioner, East Jaintia Hills Environment Coordination Committee Elaka Sutnga supported by Local Headmen (Rangbah Shnong) of the ElakaSutnga comprises of villages viz., Moopala, Sookilo, Sutnga, Umlawang, Mookympad, Tluh, Jarain, Sakhain, SakhianMooliment, Latyrke, Lamyrsiang, Moolamylliang, Lelad, Tangnub, Byndehati, Umtyra, Umrangso, Nongrim Hills, Nongsning, JalaphetBri-Sutnga, MoolaitBri-Sutnga and others adjacent village.

“Establishment of Hazardous industries in and near the human inhabitation area can never be permitted as per the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Coke industries is categorized in the First Schedule item 4 of the Factories Act as hazardous process factories. The right to Pollution free environment has been declared as the right to life under the purview of Article 21 of the Constitution by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Coke plants have a devastating both short- and long-term impact on the environment,” the memorandum stated.

According to memorandum “as per the Factories Act, 1948, The District Magistrate shall be the Inspector for his district. As per the information available, no action or intervention has been taken by your office as the power vested under this Act.

The ECC alleged that it is found even after the protest and objection from the public at large for establishment of the coke plants, the coke plants have continued to operate and consent have been granted despite violating the Air and Water Acts.

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