State re-drafting mining policy

Coal Ministry finds deficiency in already submitted earlier

SHILLONG: The State Government is re-drafting the mining policy and guidelines to be submitted to both the Union Ministries of Coal and Environment following the recent ruling of the National Green Tribunal as a pre-condition for lifting the ban on rat hole mining.
Earlier, the state government had submitted the mining plan and guidelines to the Centre which, however, was not found to be satisfactory.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer and counsel for the State Government, Ranjan Mukherjee said on Wednesday that following NGT order on December 23, the State Government has begun the task of re-drafting the mining policy and guidelines which would be submitted to the Union Ministries of Coal and Environment.
The NGT had during its hearing on December 23 referred to the submission of the counsel appearing for the Ministry of Coal that the draft mining guidelines were found to be deficient and not proper through a letter dated December 7 addressed to Meghalaya Government for its resubmission.
The counsel appearing for the State Government assured that the matter would be expedited and the government would re-submit the documents within four weeks from December 23.
Moreover, the counsel appearing for Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) said that the ministry was not informed about the status of the matter. Hence, NGT directed that the state government should within four weeks re-submit the mining guidelines/policy to the Ministry of Coal as well as “comply with the remaining directions of the judgment and submission of the proper documents to the MoEF”. The NGT also wanted the respective Union ministries to expeditiously deal with the matter “and final mining plan/ mining guidelines/ other necessary notification should be issued by Meghalaya without further delay. After such declaration and notifications, the State of Meghalaya would be at liberty to move the Tribunal for lifting of ban on mining”.

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