Shillong, Jul 31: The Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Environment, on Friday, revealed that there were eight coke industries running illegally in West Khasi Hills District and asked the administration to halt their functioning.
Committee Member and Mawsynram MLA Himalaya Shangpliang informed that according to a report by the West Khasi Hills deputy commissioner, in the last six to eight months eight coke factories were set up.
“The owners of these eight coke factories did not even come for the hearing called by the Additional Deputy Commissioner of West Khasi Hills district which proves they were illegally running without papers,” Shangpliang said.
He added that since August 2018, coke factories in West Khasi Hills have been mushrooming which saw single window clearance of 18 such factories in the last two years.
“The committee has viewed the matter seriously and the presence of coke factories has caused lot of health hazard in Shallang belt,” the Mawsynram legislator said.
However, the committee has allowed the functioning of seven coke factories who furnished valid documents and certificate from the state pollution control board.
According to Chairman Assembly Committee on Environment, S. K. Sunn coke factories are under “red zone” categories and setting up of a unit requires compliance to environment from the state pollution control board after which they can go for civil construction and other infrastructure.
“After this authorities will inspect the infrastructures and after they are satisfied will give consent to operate for three months after which another inspection will be conducted wherein the pollution board will take samples of air, water and other elements which will be taken to the lab for testing,” he said.