NGT asks Meghalaya to submit mining plan

New Delhi:  The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the Meghalaya government to submit a coal mining plan with complete design and scientific methods to be adopted for safety of mines and its workers.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar, which was perusing an interim report by an expert committee on coal transportation in the state, also asked the Meghalaya government to file an affidavit regarding shortfall between declared and assessed coal quantity.
The expert committee, in its interim report, has said that the coal stock assessed by it was to the tune of 10,08,401.49 metric tonnes, against the declared quantity of 19,22,082 metric tonnes in South Garo Hills.
“We direct the state government to file the mining plan before the tribunal covering all the aspects indicated in this report as well as in the order of the tribunal. We must clarify that the tribunal would be unable to pass any directions in regard to the carrying of mining activity unless and until the mining plan with complete design and scientific methods to be adopted and for safety of mines and its workers, complete environmental protection…,” the bench said while posting the matter for next hearing on April 16.
The tribunal had in October 2014 asked coal miners and transporters to pay Rs 400 crore royalty to the state government within 45 days as per Mines Development and Regulation Act, 1957, before transporting 6.3 million tonnes of extracted coal lying in depots across the state.
The green bench had earlier prohibited coal mining in the entire state of Meghalaya but allowed transportation of extracted coal kept in the open with due “checks and balances”.
It had also constituted a committee under Additional Chief Secretary Kuljit Singh Kropha and directed it to provide a complete scheme with regard to valuation of the extracted coal lying in the various mining sites in the state. (PTI)

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