Demand to amend mineral rules

SHILLONG: The general secretary of an association of stone and sand quarry owners and workers, Egenstar Kurkalang, has said that the government should amend the Meghalaya Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 2016.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, he said the association is waiting for the Shella by-election to be over and then meet the concerned minister. The executive committee of the association, which met on Saturday last, said the government should exempt the quarry owners who employ traditional methods of quarrying and not heavy machinery.
“Besides, the quarry owners own small plots of land not measuring more than 10000 square feet,” Kurkalang said adding the quarries are spread across East Khasi Hills in Laitkor, Umphyrnai, Jongksha, Mylliem, Tyrsad, Laitkroh etc.
On the other hand, he said that the system of issuing challans to trucks transporting local sand and stones should apply only to those engaged in inter-state and international export and issuing these by the Forest department for local use is not acceptable.
Kurkalang said that a special committee should be constituted consisting of quarry owners, Dorbar Shnong and other stakeholders to ensure that the environment is protected.