|Krem Umkseh cave in Jaintia Hills|
Brian Kharpran, the general secretary of Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association, filed the PIL in 2006 seeking protection of caves, which are damaged by rampant limestone mining, especially in Jaintia Hills.
Kharpran said today the Supreme Court dismissed the petition in the first week of September, as his lawyer was not present during the hearing. “I do not know what went wrong and the Supreme Court dismissed the petition as our lawyer was not present during the hearing,” he said.
According to Kharpran, the court appears to be satisfied with the submission of Meghalaya government that it is a preparing a mining policy to address the concerns related to the damage to the caves.
Last year, the Supreme Court asked the state government to form a committee to initiate measures for protecting the caves. “However, we filed an affidavit before the court that we cannot accept the committee since the members of the Single Window Agency, which gives permits to the cement companies to set up units, are also part of the committee,” he said.
Moreover, there are no experts who know about the caves in the committee formed by the government, he said.
Kharpran said he would not rest until justice is delivered. “I will continue to fight for the cause of protection of the caves,” he added.