Meghalaya on job to resolve NGT ban on coal mining

SHILLONG, Sep 5: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Kongkal Sangma on Wednesday said that his government was on the job to resolve the issue of NGT ban on coal mining in the state.

The Chief Minister pointed out that though initially the NGT ban on coal mining started off as an issue of environmental aspect but as the process continued matter of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 came into the picture there were concerns over the safety of miners and also ownership of the mineral.

“All these issues ended up complicating the issue. The communication gap between the state (the previous government) and the centre also did not have a positive impact,” the Chief Minister said.

Conrad also reiterated that the lifting of ban on coal mining was crucial so that people dependant on it do not lose employment even as he added that there was a need to take strong measures to safeguard the environment and also safety of miners.

The Chief Minister pointed out that this is where the challenge lies and the state government was getting a positive response from the centre.

Conrad also said that multiple ministries were involved in the matter and it was necessary to take everyone on board.

Meanwhile, on the resolution to lift the coal mining ban in the state, the Chief Minister said that the Meghalaya Assembly has urge the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to exempt Meghalaya from the provisions of central laws on mining.

“We have sought exemption of certain provisions,” Conrad said.

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