Thursday, June 13, 2024

State mining policy yet to see light of the day


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The State Mining Policy has yet again been delayed and there has been no sign of the policy being put before the state cabinet last month as assured by the Deputy Chief Minister In-Charge of Mining and Geology, Bindo Mathew Lanong.

Despite assurance that the State Mining Policy which would regulate the mining activities in the state would be forwarded by November, the State Mining Department has yet failed to live up to its promise as till date, nothing concerning this policy has been observed.

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.

Subsequently, Mining Minister BM Lanong has assured that the final draft will be completed by November and accordingly put before the cabinet for its approval but the policy is yet to see the light of the day as with the end of November, no such policy has been put before the recent cabinet.

Despite this laidback attitude of the Mining Department, Deputy Chief Minister In-Charge of Mining and Geology, Bindo M Lanong has maintained that the proposed State Mining Policy is ready and will be forwarded to the cabinet soon.

“The final draft of the policy is completed and we have targeted to forward it to the cabinet soon”, Lanong told The Shillong Times.

When asked about the delay, the Deputy Chief Minister said expectations to get more suggestions and ideas on this policy from various government departments and stake holders including NGOs have led to the delay.

“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, informed that no more suggestions will be entertained as the time is due for the policy to be passed for the interest of all. “If we keep on waiting, then delay in forwarding it to the state cabinet is ascertained. That is why we have decided to stop taking in suggestions and go ahead with the proposal”, he added.

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.


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