Govt to issue guidelines before resumption of coal mining

SHILLONG: The state government will issue clear instructions and guidelines on how to carry out mining based on MMDR Act.
An official with the Mining and Geology department said there is still confusion in the minds of coal miners as to how to go about with the mining activities in accordance with the July 3 order of the Supreme Court.
The state government wanted mechanised mining activities instead of traditional method of mining.
“We will have to issue guidelines for the sake of clarity before allowing mining activities”, he said.
The official also said the miners cannot go ahead with rat-hole coal mining as it is prohibited by the Supreme Court and NGT.
He also clarified that as per the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, the district councils will still avail royalty though the MMDR Act is not specific on this matter.
Powers of Councils
Augustine R. Marak, Chairman of High power Committee, GHADC said on Wednesday that the powers and functions of the district councils will not be affected once the MMDR Act comes into force in Meghalaya.
The state government cannot overlook the Article 244 while making the rules related to the administration of the Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas, he said.
The paragraph 9B of the MMDR Act 2015 clearly mentions that the state government, while making rules under sub-sections (2) and (3), shall be guided by the provision contained in Article 244 read with fifth and Sixth Schedule to the Constitution relating to the administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas and the provision of the Panchayats (extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act. 1996 and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forests Rights) Act. 2006.

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