NGT panel for payment of more compensation to mine victims

Shillong, Nov 16 : The National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed committee has decided to recommend the NGT payment of additional compensation to the next of kin of coal miners killed in three different mining tragedies in Meghalaya.

Sixteen miners were killed inside the 370-foot-deep illegal rat-hole coal mine at Khloo Ryngksan area on December 13, 2018, and two others at Mooknor area in East Jaintia Hills district on January 6, 2019.

Besides, 15 miners were trapped in a rat-hole coal mine on July 6, 2012 at Nengkol in Rongsa Awe region in South Garo Hills in 2012.

“We have decided to make recommendation for payment of some additional amount apart from the amount which has already been released to them to the NGT,” Justice (retired) B.P. Katakey told IANS on Saturday.

He said the Committee will submit its report in this month and it is scheduled to be considered by the NGT on December 6, next.

The Meghalaya government had paid Rs 1 lakh and another Rs 2 lakh was sanctioned from the Prime Minister Relief Fund, Katakey said.

Though, he said the Meghalaya government has sanctioned a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the next to the next of kin of coal miners as per the NGT’s directive, Katakey, however, said the government is yet to disburse the compensation because the deputy commissioner found it difficult to do that since all the persons are from Assam.

“We (NGT) have asked the state government to do the verification through the Deputy Commissioners of those respective districts in Assam to ensure that right next of kin of the persons duly received the compensation,” Katakey said.

Coal mine accidents have been rampant in the mountainous state even after the NGT imposed an interim ban on ‘rat hole’ mining in April 2014.

/IANS

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