06 Sep 2018
Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma has defended the State Government over the delay in lifting the ban on coal mining which is enforced in the state since last few years.
Talking to media persons after taking oath as the South Tura MLA here on Wednesday, Sangma said that the State Government had brought back the issue on track in the last six months of the MDA Government.
He said that the ban on coal mining in the state was basically a environmental issue, but later so many issues like ownership of coal, safety of miners and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR) came up in between, adding that there was a lot of communication between the State and the Central Government on the matter.
Claiming that the issue of ban on coal mining in the state is in advanced stage, the Chief Minister made it clear that the Government will not compromise on the environment and safety aspect of miners.
“But at the same time, we cannot allow the mining to be stopped as it is affecting the livelihood of the people,” he said
According to Chief Minister, there are certain areas which needs clarification from both Centre and State and the Government is working on it.
Stating that it is a big challenge for the State Government to bring all ministries on board on the issue, he informed that the Coal Nationalisation policy has been repealed.
“But MMDR Act is still applicable and we have sought exemptions from certain provisions of the act,” the Chief Minister informed.
It may be recalled that Meghalaya Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution to urge upon the Central government to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule through a presidential notification to exempt Meghalaya from the Central laws related to mining which include the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, and the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act.
Source: The Shillong Times