The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Eastern Zone Bench has ordered 31 illegal coke plants in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district to pay a fine of more than Rs 4.75 crore as environmental compensation and has directed the state government to develop an action plan against such plants established prior to 2021 within four months.
The 31 coke oven plants in the East Jaintia Hills district were operating without the required permission from the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB).
In terms of environmental compensation recovery, the tribunal stated that no additional ruling is necessary other than to direct the State Pollution Control Board to recover environmental compensation according to the procedure established by law.
The MSPCB is also directed to undertake continuous monitoring of coke plants to check whether environmental norms are violated and if so, take action in accordance with the law.
On May 10, 2022, the MSPCB filed an affidavit informing the NGT that it had conducted inspections on 31 coke plants, against which complaints were filed in the East Jaintia Hills District Court.
It needs mention here that except for two coke units, no other unit is situated within the distance of 500 metres from a village.
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