HITO writes to Assembly Committee on ‘illegal’ coke factories
Shillong, Jun 25: The Hynniewtrep Indigenous Territorial Organisation (HITO) has petitioned the Assembly Committee on Environment regarding the illegal coke factories situated at East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya.
In the letter to S. K. Sunn Chairman of the Assembly Committee, the organisation stated that there are about 25 Coke factories in active operation daily in the East Jaintia Hills district.
“We are more shocked to learn that most of these factories are running without obtaining prior permission from the concerned authority violating the environmental norms and procedures threatening the environment and ecology of the area at large,” the HITO stated in its letter.
The organisation also alleged that these factories have bypassed the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council authorities by indicating that they have obtained clearances from the Single Window Agency of the state government.
It also stated that when all business establishments were asked to shut down during this pandemic, surprisingly all these coke factories continued to function as usual putting workers and residents at risk.
“It is a known fact that these coke factories run on coal. We are also aware that coal mining and transportation has been banned across the state pending proper permission following adherence to environmental laws and workers safety. If this is the case, aren’t these factories promoting illegal and unsafe extraction of coal? Who authorised transportation of coal feeding these factories?” the HITO asked.