Meghalaya CM seeks exemption from coal mining Act

Updated on : Jan 18,2019   10:14 pm

Shillong, Jan 18 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday sought Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's intervention in getting exemption from the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Coal Mines Nationalisation Act to restore mining in the northeastern state at the earliest, said an official here.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned coal mining in the state on April 17, 2014 citing unscientific practice.

During the meeting with Singh, Sangma admitted that there is a need to regulate mining in Meghalaya with special focus on safety of miners and environment, according to a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) in the state capital.

"The ban on mining has affected the socio-economic condition of the people, who are dependent on coal, as well as loss of revenue generation for the state," the statement quoted Sangma as saying.

Meghalaya Mining and Geology Department Secretary C. Manjunath gave a presentation to the Union minister in this regard and stressed the need for issuance of Presidential notification pertaining to exemption from certain provisions of the mining Act.

In fact, the Coal Ministry has already exempted Meghalaya from the Acts, but the constitutional power to execute the provisions lies with the Home Ministry.

Sangma also promised Singh that the state would adhere to all environmental and safety norms framed by the Centre if allowed to resume mining in the state.

He also made clear that technical committee constituted by the state for approving mining plan shall have representatives of the Central government, and the Director General of Mine Safety would be free to inspect at any point of time, according to the statement.

The meeting was attended by nine-member delegation of legislators of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government.

--IANS

rrk/rs