Shillong: The Environment Coordination Committee in Meghalaya took to the streets to protest against the rise of coke factories in East Jaintia Hills district, Meghalaya.

The committee started their march from 4 Kilo towards the Office of the Deputy Commissioner at Khliehriat. It witnessed the participation of several residents and the MLA of Sutnga Saipung Constituency, Shitlang Pale.

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The committee has been demanding the closure of illegal coke factories operating in the area. They have raised concern that these factories are not only causing irreparable damage to the environment but also causing health problems to the residents and especially children.

According to Reading War, legal adviser of the Environment Coordination Committee of Elaka Sutnga, 55 coke factories have got the NOC.

“Forty-eight coke factories got single-window clearance. Thirty-two of these coke factories got the single window clearance this year under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister. Six coke factories got the Consent To Establish (CTE) and another seven got the Consent To Operate (CTO) from the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB),” claimed War.

During the rally, the public was seen carrying placards and sloganeering, condemning the MDA Government for issuing permissions to set up these plants which are against the will of the people of the Elaka and also condemning the act of the Dolloi of the Elaka for granting permission to these factories.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner E Kharmalki, upon hearing that the Committee will hold a public rally, immediately issued a notification to close down all illegal coke factories under Elaka Sutnga.

In the order, Kharmalki stated that the District Administration will close down all the illegal coke factories which do not possess the Consent To Operate (CTO).

On July 15, the Deputy Commissioner had issued a similar closure notice, but according to the committee, none of the coke factories had complied with this order.

It may be mentioned here that the Committee has been spearheading the movement against the establishment of illegal Coke Factories in the district.

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