NGO slaps legal notice on GHADC for mining inside National Park

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Shillong, Nov 25 (UNI) The Chitmang Hills Anti-Mining Forum (CHAMF) has slapped a legal notice on the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) against illegal mining of coal on the periphery of Balpakram National Park in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills District.

''The legal notice warns initiating legal proceedings against the District Council if the coal mining activity and the mining road construction activity is not curbed by the District Council in Gongrot Aking,'' CHAMF Secretary Ginseng Sangma said in a statement issued here today.

Mr Sangma said the legal notice was to halt the move by the Nokma (village headman) of Chitmang Gongrot Aking to initiate coal mining in Gongrot Aking.

The Forum, in the notice, stated that the Gongrot mining project did not get any clearance either from the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, the Meghalaya Pollution Control Board. The area in question is a standing forest that harbours wildlife such as elephants.

The mining project also lacks clarity about the status of land that is proposed to be mined as the matter of boundaries of the Balpakram National Park is subjudice at Gauhati High Court.

CHAMF is a conglomeration of various NGOs from South Garo Hills district spearheaded by the GSU.

The Forum had also made representations to concerned regulatory authorities such as the district administration and the Forest Department to air its concern at the ongoing unscientific mining.

Grassroots mobilisation in the villages was also being carried out in order to generate public opposition to coal mining in the area.

UNI RRK DPM RD 1257

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