The National Green Tribunal today gave its nod to transportation of 38,6545 metric tonnes coal in West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar permitted the transport of coal according to the guidelines notified by the state.
Earlier, an expert committee constituted by the tribunal had given consent for transportation of extracted coal under strict environmental guidelines in six districts of Meghalaya.
The bench said that according to the letter of the Deputy Commissioner of West Khasi Hills dated September 12, 38,6545 metric tonnes of coal have already been extracted and are lying.
"Let this measured coal be permitted to be transported in terms of the guidelines already notified with any additional condition or guideline that the Committee may impose in relation to these districts.
"However, we make it clear that extracted coal which has not been measured, as of now, will not be permitted to be removed, in any manner whatsoever," the bench said.
"As far as the remaining two districts are concerned, the substantial part of the coal extracted has already been measured," it said.
During the hearing, an affidavit was filed on behalf of Meghalaya stating that the guidelines with regard to six districts have already been duly notified and the extracted coal has been measured and was being permitted to be transported in accordance with guidelines.
The committee, headed by the state Additional Chief Secretary K S Kropha, has asked the state government to permit transportation of coal from six districts subject to strict adherence to the 21-point guidelines issued by it.
However, the assessment in the West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills was be completed, as the work had been affected because of adverse weather conditions.