Action plan to restore environment damaged by coal mining: Governor

Shillong, Mar 13: Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy on Friday announced that the government has prepared an action plan for the restoration of environment damaged by coal mining and added that pilot projects have already commenced.

Addressing the assembly on the first day of the budget session, he said that the state has been collecting 10 per cent of the value of coal from coal transported under the order of Supreme Court and NGT and deposited towards the Meghalaya Environment Protection and Restoration Fund.

Roy informed that the court has permitted coal mining in the state as per provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 and Mineral Concession Rules,1960 with approved mining plan and also with strict compliance of Mines Act 1952 and Coal Mines Regulations 2017.

“Efforts by the government to resolve coal mining issues culminated in landmark judgment by the Supreme Court in which it was held that private owners of land as well as community owners have both surface right as well as sub-soil rights,” Roy said.

Roy also reiterated that the government is committed to promote scientific, secure and environmentally friendly coal mining in the state by complying with all statutory central legislations pertaining to environmental protection and safety of mine workers.

“The government in addition to consultation with various stake holders and experts to secureenvironment friendly coal mining has also conducted sensitization programme in West Jaintia Hills to educate the mine owners about procedures to be followed in starting coal mining under the provisions of MMDR Act, 1957 and Mineral Concession Rules, 1960,” he said.

Further he also mentioned that the District Mineral Foundation have been notified in eightdistricts to minimize or mitigate adverse effects of mining on environment, health and for implementing various developmental and welfare programmes in mining affected areas.

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