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Shillong: Charging the Meghalaya government for failing to frame an action plan for the coke plants as directed by the National Green Tribunal, the Environment Coordination Committee (ECC) has decided to hit the streets once again on December 15.

The ECC has been spearheading the fight against the establishment of coke plants in Elaka Sutnga, which is located in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills District. 

On December 15, the rally will begin from Shi-kilo (1 kilo) to Deputy Commissioner’s office at Khliehriat. The rally is against the failure as well as non-compliance of the state government to the judgment passed by the National Green Tribunal.

The judgment was passed by the NGT Eastern Zone, Kolkata on July 8, 2022, after a case preferred by the ECC through Pynbait Sutnga against the establishment of the coke plants in Elaka Sutnga.

The case was disposed of and the NGT directed the state government through the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) to collect the entire fine that has been imposed against the 31 units for establishing without Consent to Established (CTE),  which is amounting to approximately Rs 5.5 crore.

The NGT directed the state government to frame the action plan against the coke plants that have obtained the Consent to Operate (CTOs) prior to the notification of the sitting norms on 23-12-2020. The same is directed to comply with the sitting norm even though CTO is obtained before the notification date.

NGT had given a time frame for the government to complete the accumulation of the entire fine and to frame the action plan within the period of 4 months from the time of passing the judgment. 

“However, even after the expiry of four months, that is on November 8, 2022, the government is silent. The government has failed to comply with the direction given in the judgment,” Reading War, ECC legal adviser, said.

War added, “With respect to the implementation of the judgment passed by the NGT, the ECC has met many of the departments concerned in the state enquiring regarding the action plan. Even after a meeting with the Deputy Chief Minister and there was no fruitful outcome.”  

The ECC alleged that the government is totally ignoring the people of Elaka Sutnga and the District as a whole.  “Also the government and the ministers concerned have failed to serve the people and failed to respect the life of the citizens of the district. Even the NGT condemned the state for not paying attention and failing to protect the lives of the citizens,” stated ECC. 

The committee further mentioned that the government has turned a deaf ear to the grievances of the people of the district. “Despite several meetings with the government, there has been no positive outcome. Moreover, the government is not complying with the direction of the tribunal. The ECC and the people of Elaka Sutnga have no other option but to come out on the street again to strongly protest against this irresponsible government,” said War.

The ECC has also urged all the people of Elaka and from other adjoining villages in the district to join the rally. 

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