Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee has expressed concern on the menace of rat-hole mining in the state.
“In places with fragile ecology like Meghalaya, people must be made aware what they ought to do and what not to do,” he said at the inauguration of the National Legal Services Authority conference on enhancing access to justice.
The chief justice said people of the state depended on nature, land and forest and suddenly by law; people are directed to stop using timber and another from using the natural produce available.
“Now you have a menace of rat-hole mining and because people are not made aware, they are digging under their houses that the mildest of tremor will bring the house down,” he said.
He feared for Rymbai in East Jaiñtia Hills and said, “God forbid if there is an earthquake of a significant degree of magnitude…”
Banerjee also laid stress on acquainting Para-Legal Volunteers (PLVs) with technology and creating a synergy between people seeking legal aid and seva kendras and to create awareness amongst women of the rights and remedies available.
He pointed out that public hearings are held in the state on different matters. But vested interests would hijack the programme to voice their agenda and induce locals with minor gifts. “Therefore, PLVs must be trained and make people aware of their rights and how to take a stand on such situations,” he added.
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