The Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that illicit coal mining, notably Rat-Hole Mining, is wreaking havoc on the environment in Assam and neighbouring states Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
Speaking to India today NE, AJP president Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, "AJP has opposed the illegal rathole mining in Assam and we are strongly against this kind of activity."
Further, the AJP president claimed that it is an open secret that Assam state government officials and politicians are directly involved in this 'rat hole' mining activity.
The AJP in its memorandum stated that the state administration is already aware that illicit coal mining has persisted uninterrupted for decades in India's north-eastern states, posing a danger to one of the country's best rainforests in the region.
The National Green Tribunal of India prohibited rat-hole mining in 2014, yet it has continued unabated in the Assam districts of Tinsukia and Karbi-Anglong.
Judge (Retd.) BK Kakoty Commission was established by the state government. The commission had unequivocally declared that illicit 'Rat-Hole Mining' was still going on in the state. The paper also emphasised the seriousness and danger of deforestation, as well as its influence on ecological imbalance.
The AJP has also accused some Assam lawmakers of pushing officials to give coal extraction permits and benefitting from unlawful mining. The AJP has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action to curb unlawful mining and safeguard the environment.
“The involvement of some politicians belonging to is an open secret in Assam. These politicians reportedly influence the authorities to issue entry passes to traders for the extraction of coal. We have reasons to believe that such illegal mining is continuing only at the behest and patronage of the state government as contemplated by the general public, various social activists and other environment protection NGOs from time to time. The reason being Tonnes of coals are being transported inappropriately and an unimaginable illegal transaction amounting Crores is taking place regularly”, the party stated.
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