Few BJP leaders patronising illegal rat-hole coal mining in Assam: AJP writes to PM Modi
AJP further said that a one-man probe panel, headed by a retired judge and instituted by the state government, reported the continuation of the illegal rat-hole mining activities.
GUWAHATI: The Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the illegal rat-hole mining of coal has continued in parts of Assam with the alleged patronage of some BJP leaders.
In a memorandum, the political party claimed that the illegal activities were causing large-scale damage to the environment.
“In 2014, the National Green Tribunal banned the illegal mining of coal through the rat-hole mining method. But unfortunately, rat-hole mining is continuing unabated in the Tinsukia and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam,” the memorandum alleged.
It further said that a one-man probe panel, headed by a retired judge and instituted by the state government, reported the continuation of the illegal rat-hole mining activities.
“The report of the (probe) commission highlighted the danger of deforestation. Needless to mention that it (rat-hole mining) has a serious impact on the overall environment and ecology of the areas,” the memorandum said.
The AJP said after the locals, various organizations and environmental activists had staged widespread protests against illegal coal mining, the authorities on August 7 last year issued prohibitory orders restricting the entry of unauthorized persons into the reserved forest areas of Lekhapani, Tirap and Tipang. The party lamented that despite the order, the illegal mining and transportation of coal were continuing.
“The involvement of some politicians belonging to the BJP is an open secret in Assam. These politicians reportedly influence the authorities to issue entry passes to traders for the extraction of coal. The politicians receive a cut for every truck that exits the area…We have reasons to believe that such illegal mining is continuing at the behest and patronage of the state government,” the memorandum said.
The AJP urged PM Modi to initiate appropriate action at the earliest.
“We demand that illegal mining is stopped immediately and stern action initiated against everyone, including government officials and politicians, involved in patronizing illegal mining and transportation of coal,” the memorandum further said.