Meghalaya High Court: Calls For Strict Norms To ‘Stop Plundering Of Natural Resources’ [Illegal Mining]

The Meghalaya High Court in the case Tennydard M. Marak & ors Vs State of Meghalaya observed and has directed the State Government for preparation of a blueprint to maintain the condition of roads in the State besides working out a “stricter set of norms” which being both for checking and to control wherein to stop the plundering of the bountiful natural resources which is being available in the State.
The Division bench comprising of High Court of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W. Diengdoh in the case observed while hearing a Public Interest Litigation with regards to overloading by trucks carrying coal and other goods.
It has been stated by the court that the said matter has dragged on for more than a year with very little effort or intent on the part of the State government in order to check the menace of overloading of goods vehicles that the petitioner perceives to be rampant as the same being across the State.
The court further stated while pointing out the wanton limestone quarrying that the said court have referred to a mischievous tweak in the rules that have l allowed incidental mining which is to be carried out and being in the name of ‘incidental mining’, wherein thousands of tonnes of mineral have been disposed of without obtaining any such license or any norms which being adhered to. Adding to it, the bench stated that the executive which is tasked with the duty of protecting and the preserving the assets of the State “which being complicit as in the wanton plundering”, and that several of the roads, which includes some of the key roads or the bypasses leading to the southern North-East states, which being in a pitiable state. Thus, the extent of the damage being primarily due to overloading of the vehicles that the State seems to do a bit about. The bench asked the State Transport Secretary for personally looking into the matter and devise a scheme for dealing with the menace. However, it has also been directed by the Transport Secretary for seeking the assistance of the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong to prepare a blueprint in this regard.
Accordingly, the bench listed the matter on March 31st 2023 for further consideration.

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