Govt on the job to overturn coal mining ban: Mukul

SHILLONG: The State Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to vacate the ban on coal mining in Meghalaya imposed by the National Green Tribunal in April, 2014.
In reply to a call attention motion moved by Witting Mawsor (HSPDP) on the plight of the people after the NGT banned rat hole mining in the State, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told the Assembly that while the draft mining plan was in the final stag to be submitted before the NGT, other measures including exempting Sixth Schedule areas from the purview of the Central mining laws will help the State to address the concerns of the stakeholders.
The draft mining plan was prepared after getting inputs from the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, Coal India Limited and Director General of Mine Safety following their visits to the State in June this year.
According to the chief minister invoking Paragraph 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution will help the State Government to regulate mining activities.
He said the ban on mining and transportation of coal by NGT had affected the economy and revenue of the State, while adding that his government was committed to ensure that the ban on coal mining is lifted.
The chief minister said that the state government had taken up with the Centre the need to invoke Paragraph 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution so that application of central laws in the State relating to mining may be rescinded through a Presidential notification.
“I had raised the issue with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2014 as coal mining in Meghalaya is a part of customary tribal rights,” the chief minister said.
According to the chief minister, the State government has made out a special case to exempt Sixth Schedule areas in the State from the purview of central mining laws  due to the provision of Paragraph 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule as a presidential notification will be enough to get relief.
The chief minister also said that a resolution will be taken up during the current session which will further help the State Government to pursue the matter with the Centre.

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