The Supreme Court (SC) accepted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting intervention to stop rampant coal mining and limestone quarrying off natural caves in Meghalaya claiming that the Federal Government has not responded to their pleas. The SC has issued notices to the Federal and Meghalaya State Government.
Meghalaya’s hills are believed to have the richest karst area of the country with extensive limestone deposits in natural cave-systems born of a hot and humid climate and heavy rainfall. The rich limestone deposits also make the state an ideal place for cement plants which require huge quantities of limestone and the poor enforcement of regulations results in rampant quarrying.
Unfortunately, unscientific quarrying has weakened the roofs of cave-systems and quarry deposits have also blocked the openings of several cave-systems making them unsafe.