The East Jaiñtia Hills district administration has ordered the closure of all coke factories in the district which have not obtained Consent to Operate (CTO).
The order was issued by the Deputy Commissioner, East Jaiñtia Hills following the physical inspection by officials of Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) to these factories on July 22 and the report submitted by these officials.
There were complaints that around 25 coke factories were running in East Jaiñtia Hills without obtaining prior permission from the authorities including MSPCB and State Environment Impact Assessment Agency (SEIAA).
The environment coordination committee of Elaka Sutnga in East Jaiñtia Hills has also recently submitted a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of the district urging him to immediately stop the operation of illegal coke plants.
Stating that the waste and toxic emissions from the factories without proper treatment prior to their release is hazardous to the health of the general population, the environment coordination committee said that as per the RTI reply from MSPCB dated March 17 this year, only five coke plants in East Jaiñtia Hills have obtained CTO (consent to operate) and the rest are operating without CTO.
According to the same RTI, only 12 coke plants out of 36 have been granted consent to establish (CTE).
The environment coordination committee of Elaka Sutnga also stated that water bodies and farms have been grievously damaged by the waste emitted by these coke plants.