Final draft of mining policy in Nov: Lanong

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The final draft of the much-awaited State Mining Policy that is expected to regulate mining activities in the State, is likely to be submitted to the State Government in November.

Talking to The Shillong Times here on Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister In-charge Mining, Bindo M Lanong said the circulation of the final draft of the policy to the concern departments was almost completed and it was set to be tabled before the Cabinet very soon.

“We are planning to forward the policy to the Cabinet as soon as possible provided we get views from all the relevant departments,” Lanong said.

The drafting of this policy has involved a thorough study and consultation with all the relevant departments like the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Pollution Control Board and taken into consideration views of the stakeholders including various NGOs with reference to the various laws related to mining, environment, pollution laws besides others.

It may be reminded that the final draft of the policy was proposed to be submitted to the State Government in July but due to opposition from coal miners and limestone miners of the State under the umbrella of the Joint Forum on Mining Policy (Coal and Limestone), the submission has been delayed.

“We have taken into consideration every genuine suggestion from all the relevant departments including NGOs”, the Deputy Chief Minister said, while adding that equal opportunity was given to all the departments and stakeholders to express their views and opinion on this matter.

He however, said that suggestions not found in the greater interest of public or the environment were being discarded.

“We cannot compromise any suggestions which are against public interest or the environment”, stated Lanong.

On being asked about the detailed report on the recent incidents in Jaintia Hills mining areas where several cracks have appeared on the earth’s surface, Lanong said he had not received any official reports till date.

However, quoting unofficial sources he said that the reason behind the cracks were due to severe floods and bad road conditions.

The State Government has incorporated certain clauses in the proposed State Mining Policy to make it mandatory for miners to refill the land after conducting mining operations.

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