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National Green Tribunal- Coal Mining in Meghalaya

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These Slides give us an overview on the coal mining in the Indian State of Meghalaya and also deals with the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.

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National Green Tribunal- Coal Mining in Meghalaya

  1. 1. National Green Tribunal- Coal Mining in Meghalaya Presented By Abhimanyu, Dimse, Elvina, Flora, Kshanika, Luckson & Ringkang Education Department, MA Second Semester. Batch of 2014-2016 NEHU, Tura Campus
  2. 2. Coal
  3. 3.  The word Coal has been derived from the Old English term ‘Col’, which has meant “mineral of fossilized carbon” since the 13th Century;  It is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams;  It is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, as well as one of the largest worldwide anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide releases;  The annual world production of coal is 7,695 million tonnes;  India is the world’s third largest coal producing country;  In 2011 India produced 589 million tonnes of coal. Source: Wikipedia. Retrieved on May 13, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal
  4. 4. Geological Time  The most favourable conditions for the formation of coal occurred between 360 to 290 million years ago, during the Carboniferous (‘coal-bearing”) period;  However, lesser amounts continued to form in some parts of the Earth during all subsequent periods, in particular the Permian (290 million to 250 million years ago), and throughout the Mesozoic Era (250 million to 65 million years ago). Source: Wikipedia. Retrieved on May 13, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal
  5. 5. Types of Coal  Anthracite, the highest rank of coal, is a harder, glossy black coal used primarily for residential and commercial space heating. It is 86 to 98% pure carbon and 8 to 3% volatile matter. In India it is found in parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
  6. 6. Types of Coal continued  Bituminous coal is a dense sedimentary rock, usually black, but sometimes dark brown, often with well defined bands of bright and dull material; it is used primarily as fuel in steam- electric power generation, with substantial quantities used for heat and power applications in manufacturing and to make coke. It is 70 to 86% carbon and 46 to 31% volatile matter. Most of the bituminous coal is found in Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
  7. 7. Types of Coal continued  Sub-bituminous coal, whose properties range from those of lignite to those of bituminous coal, is used primarily as fuel for steam-electric power generation and is an important source of light aromatic hydrocarbons for the chemical synthesis industry. It is 70 to 76% carbon and 53 to 42% volatile matter. It is found in Meghalaya in Langrin and East Darrangiri in Khasi Hills District, Bapung in Jaintia Hills District and West Darranggiri in Garo Hills District.
  8. 8. Types of Coal continued  Lignite, or brown coal, is the lowest rank of coal and used almost exclusively as fuel for electric power generation. Jet, a compact form of lignite, is sometimes polished and has been used as an ornamental stone since the Upper Palaeolithic. It is 65 to 70% carbon and 63 to 53% volatile matter. It is found in Palna of Rajasthan, Neveli in Tamil Nadu, Lakhimpur of Assam and Karewa of Jammu and Kashmir.
  9. 9. Types of Coal continued  Peat, considered to be a precursor of coal, has industrial importance as a fuel in some regions, for example, Ireland and Finland. In its dehydrated form, peat is a highly effective absorbent for fuel and oil spills on land and water. It is also used as a conditioner for soil to make it more able to retain and slowly release water. It has a carbon content of less than 60% and is composed entirely of volatile matter.
  10. 10. Brief History of Coal Mining in India  Coal mining in India started in 1774 with John Summer and Suetonius Grant Heatly of the East India Company in The Raniganj Coalfield along with the Western bank of Damodar river; Source: Wikipedia Retrieved May 13 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining_in_India  In 1973 coal was Nationalised; Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973; Source: Samrakshan  Amendment1976: Granting Sub-lease to individuals to mine coal; Source: Samrakshan  Amendment 1996: Captive mining for steel and cement plants; Source: Source: Samrakshan
  11. 11. Coal in Meghalaya  Proven reserve of coal in Meghalaya is about 133 million tonnes but the inferred reserve is more than 443 million tonnes;  Total annual production of coal in the state is about 5 million tonnes;  The type of coal found is Sub-bituminous with medium to high sulphur;  Major Places of occurrences are Langrin and East Darrangiri in Khasi Hills District, Bapung in Jaintia Hills District and West Darranggiri in Garo Hills District. Source: Directorate of Mining & Geology, Govt. of Meghalaya Retrieved from http://megdmg.gov.in/minerals.html
  12. 12. Brief History of Coal in Meghalaya • Introduced by the British in late 19th century. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat- challam.pdf When? • Used by the British to heat their houses and found no use for the locals. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf Usage • Mined exclusively by indigenous residents of the state. Sold in national and international markets. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat- challam.pdf Present
  13. 13. Who is eligible to mine coal? Central Govt. owned or controlled company • Coal India Limited is the deemed lessee of coal in India, as granted by the nationalisation process. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/m eghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf Cement , Iron and Steel • In 1996 coal mining allowed for captive consumption. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/m eghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf Individuals with sub- lease • Individuals are allowed to mine provided they have a sub-lease in areas where coal is found in small pockets. Source: Samrakshan,
  14. 14. Who owns lease/sub-lease in Meghalaya? Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf
  15. 15. Compulsory requirements for any mining operation • Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation Act, 1957. It governs all minerals prohibits mining of any mineral without a lease in Section 4 (1). Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf Mining Lease • Granted for preliminary prospecting of a mineral through regional, aerial, geophysical or geochemical surveys and geological mapping. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf Reconnaissance Permit • Granted for undertaking operations for purpose of exploring, locating or proving mineral deposit. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf Prospecting License
  16. 16. Myths about Coal mining in Meghalaya  Sixth Schedule: Meghalaya is a Sixth Schedule State hence its autonomy gives freedom to the people to mine as they wish.  Land Tenure System of the state: The unique land tenure system of the state gives rights over minerals too.  Exempted from Nationalisation: Coal in Meghalaya was never nationalised or have been exempted.  Customary Practice: Coal mining is a Customary practice of the Indigenous people of the state. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf
  17. 17. The truth about Coal mining in Meghalaya  Sixth Schedule: Paragraph 9 of the Sixth Schedule explicitly mentions the need for Lease, Licences or Leases for the purpose of prospecting for, or extraction of, minerals.  Land Tenure System of the state: The land ownership pattern is only for surface rights and not mineral.  Exempted from Nationalisation: Coal in Meghalaya was nationalised and names of the mines bought during the nationalisation process is mentioned in the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act.  Customary Practice: Coal mining is a practice introduced by the British to Indigenous people of the state. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf
  18. 18. Major violations of the Laws  Coal Mines Nationalization Act, 1973;  Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957;  Mines Act, 1952;  Forest Conservation Act, 1980;  The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat- challam.pdf
  19. 19. State Government’s role in coal mining 1 • Collects royalty on coal being transported to different states of the country and international markets. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf 2 •Refuses to take actions on complaints on the various violations of the coal mines. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf 3 • No actions taken to stem the environmental damage to forest, rivers and human rights violations. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf
  20. 20. The Results?
  21. 21. Lukha River Turn Blue Due To Acid Flow The Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board in its 2012 report blamed "mine run-off" and acid effluents from coal mines as the main causes of water pollution in the area. See more at: http://www.businessworld.in/news/business/environment/meghalaya-rivers- turn-blue-due-to-acid-flow/1664328/page-1.html#sthash.V883vh5n.dpuf
  22. 22. Lukha River, Jaintia Hills District
  23. 23. Sohkymphor Mines Jaintia Hills District Image courtesy Google Earth. Imagery Date January 30, 2008 Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf
  24. 24. Sohkymphor Mines Jaintia Hills District Image courtesy Google Earth. Imagery date December 3rd 2014
  25. 25. Cracks on the ground at Sohkymphor village. The cracks have appeared due to the rampant unscientific mining prevalent in the district. Read more at http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2011/11/25/mining-activities- stopped-at-sohkymphor-village/#M4euOGP3626HZrbe.99 Image Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf
  26. 26. Forest area being cleared for illegal mining. Source: Samrakshan, retrieved on 13 May, from http://www.cseindia.org/userfiles/meghalaya_arwat-challam.pdf
  27. 27. The Meghalaya coal is one of the finest qualities in terms of calorific value but its disadvantage is the high sulphur content. Photo Credit: Sugandh Juneja
  28. 28. Some rat holes in Meghalaya, like this one, breach the ground water. Photo Credit: Sugandh Juneja
  29. 29. Typically the mines breaching ground water table produce sulphuric acid when sulphur in the coal comes in contact with water, causing acid mine drainage. Photo Credit: Sugandh Juneja
  30. 30. Coal dust covered trees are a common sight in coal mining regions of the state. Photo Credit: Sugandh Juneja
  31. 31. Entire road sides in and around mining areas are used for piling of coal which is a major source of air, water and soil pollution.
  32. 32. Rat-Hole Mines
  33. 33. The rat hole mines are a small hole dug into the earth to reach the coal seam. The mine is so small that even a four foot tall person cannot stand in it. Photo Credit: Sugandh Juneja
  34. 34. A number of horizontal holes run close to each other in the vertical face of a hill/pit making the region extremely prone to subsidence. Photo Credit: Sugandh Juneja
  35. 35. A rat hole mine with a flight of wooden stairs leading to the pit. Photo Credit: Tehelka
  36. 36. Child Labourers
  37. 37. A child coal miner
  38. 38. Children working in the coal mine. Photo Credit: Twocircles.net
  39. 39. Children working in the coal mine. Photo Credit: Twocircles.net
  40. 40. Photo credit: Tehelka
  41. 41. Photo credit: Brent Lewin.
  42. 42. A young miner poses for a photo in the Jaintia HIlls. Photo credit: Brent Lewin
  43. 43. A young labourer winces as he carries coal at a depot in the Jaintia HIlls. Photo credit: Brent Lewin.
  44. 44. National Green Tribunal
  45. 45. Why Green Tribunal?  Why the Act has been named as the National Green Tribunal and why not simply as National Environment Tribunal Act? What is the significance or special meaning of the term ‘green’ as given in the title of the Act? No clear answer is available as of now. Merriam Webster dictionary defines the term ‘green’ as tending to preserve environmental quality. That suggests and reveals the ultimate aim of the NGT Act. Source: Kumar, B.Jayant and Mishra, Saurabh (2013, April 29). National Green Tribunal: A Step Towards Environment Justice? Retrieved from http://lex-warrier.in/2013/04/national-green-tribunal-2/
  46. 46. National Green Tribunal  The National Green Tribunal was established under Section 3 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010;  It was established on 18th Oct. 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010;  It has been established to provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.
  47. 47. Definition The legislative Act of Parliament defines the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 as follows:  "An Act to provide for the establishment of a National Green Tribunal for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto."
  48. 48. Reasons for the establishment of the Tribunal The Act gives the following reasons for the establishment of the Tribunal: 1. India is a party to the decisions taken at the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held at Stockholm in June, 1972, in which India participated, calling upon the States to take appropriate steps for the protection and improvement of the human environment;
  49. 49. Reasons for the establishment of the Tribunal 2. India is also a party to the decisions taken at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held at Rio de Janerio in June, 1992, in which India participated, calling upon the States to provide effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy and to develop national laws regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage; and
  50. 50. Reasons for the establishment of the Tribunal 3. In the judicial pronouncement in India, the right to healthy environment has been construed as a part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  51. 51. Composition of the Tribunal Section 4 of the Act, gives the composition of the Tribunal:  A full time Chairperson;  Minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 full time Judicial members;  Minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 full time Expert members.
  52. 52. Composition of the Tribunal continued  The Tribunal may, if it considers necessary, invite anyone or more persons having specialised knowledge and experience in a particular case before the Tribunal to assist the Tribunal in that case.
  53. 53. Jurisdiction: Tribunal to settle disputes  By virtue of Section 14 of the Act, the Tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain environmental disputes;  Clause 2 of Section 14 gives the limitation of six months from the date on which the cause of action first arose to entertain applications for adjudication of dispute.
  54. 54. Tribunal Empowered to Grant Reliefs- ‘Compensation’ and Restitution of Property Damaged  By virtue of Section 15 of the Act the Tribunal can provide relief and compensation to the victims of pollution.  It also gives power to the Tribunal to provide restitution of property damaged and for restitution of the environment for such area or areas, as the Tribunal may think fit.
  55. 55. Compensation: Principle of no fault  By virtue of Section 17 of the Act, the Tribunal is empowered to provide relief of to compensation to an aggrieved person/party from the defaulting person/party.  Section 17 (3) makes it clear that “the Tribunal shall, in case of an accident apply the principle of no fault.
  56. 56. Tribunal not bound by the Provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908  Section 19 (1) of the Act, makes it clear that the Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, but shall be governed by the principle of natural justice;  It is submitted that the Tribunal shall have power to regulate its own procedure [Section 19 (2)].
  57. 57. Tribunal treated as a “Civil Court”  According to Section 19 (4) the Tribunal, For the purpose of discharging its functions under the Act, the same power as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, while trying a suit.
  58. 58. Principles of Sustainable Development and Polluter Pays Principle  Section 20 says that the Tribunal while passing any order or decision or award, apply the Principles of Sustainable development, the Precautionary Principle and the Polluter Pays Principle.
  59. 59. Appeal to Supreme Court  According to Section 22 of the Act, any person aggrieved by any award, decision or order of the Tribunal, may file an appeal to the Supreme Court, within ninety days from the date of communication of the award, decision or order of the Tribunal.
  60. 60. Award, Order or Decision of Tribunal- Executable as a decree of Civil Court Section 25 (1) of the Act reads-  “An award or order or decision of the Tribunal under this act shall be executable by the Tribunal as a decree of a civil court, and for this purpose, the Tribunal shall have all powers of a civil court.”
  61. 61. Penalty for failure to comply with the orders of Tribunal  Section 26 (1) gives power to the Tribunal to penalise a person or a company who fails to comply with any order of the Tribunal;  In case it is a person he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years, or with fine which may extend to 10 crore rupees;  In case it is a company, such company shall be punishable with fine which may extend to 25 crore rupees.
  62. 62. Offences by Companies  According to Section 27 of the Act, where any offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was directly in charge of, and was responsible to the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
  63. 63. Offences by Government Department  According to Section 27 of the Act, 2010, where any Department of the Government fails to comply with any order or award or decision of the Tribunal under the Act, the Head of the Department shall be deemed to be guilty of such failure and shall be liable to be proceeded against for having committed an offence under the Act and punished accordingly.
  64. 64. Act to have Overriding effect  Section 33 says that-  The provisions of this Act, shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.
  65. 65. Summing-up  It is submitted that with view to deal with multi-disciplinary issues of environment the Parliament has enacted the present National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 to Provide speedy adjudication and relief as to compensation, the National Green Tribunal has been constituted.  It seems that our country has geared-up to settle effectively the environmental problem by bringing out special statute having overriding effect over other enactments.
  66. 66. Do You Know?  India is the third country following Australia and New Zealand to have a Green Tribunal.  The Tribunal is India’s first dedicated environmental court.  It functions with an objective of deposing off the case within six months of filing.  The Principle Bench is based at New Delhi with circuit benches at Chennai, Bhopal, Pune and Kolkata so that it can reach remote parts of India.
  67. 67. On April 17, 2014, the NGT passed an interim order stopping mining and transportation of coal in the state. Almost a month later, on May 9, the mining ban was formally implemented by the state government.
  68. 68. The way forward

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