SHILLONG: Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma has targeted Opposition leader and the previous Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and accused the previous MUA II government of doing nothing to solve the long pending issue arising out of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on coal mining.
While giving the status of the case on the ban on coal mining in the state, Sangma while denying the allegations that the government is facilitating illegal coal mining in the state said that there was no evidence or action from the Government to indicate that they were facilitating illegal mining and in fact the government was strict about it and was taking necessary action.
“In the past four years, streamlining of the mining department did not happened,” the Chief Minister said while adding that when the MDA Government took over, it found that the previous government had already given its consent to the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation (MMDC) to be the nodal agency to mine and take charge of all the coal mines which meant mines would be taken away from the people and owners would lose their mines
Sangma said that the State Government had been able to go back to the decision to convince Union Government of India to ensure that mines remain with the people.
“That move was destructive for the common man,” Sangma said wile informing that the government has reversed that decision and Supreme Court in line with the decision of the State Government have asked Union Government if the certain sections of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act can be exempted
The Union government has prepared its views and it has also written to the Meghalaya Government about the state’s action plan of environment if certain sections of MMDR was exempted
He also said that some companies which were technically sound in developing coal plants had been engaged and government was replying to the Union Government on the matter which could have been done in the past four years but nothing was done.
He said that once state’s reply went to the Union Government, they would accordingly reply to the Supreme Court and the State Government was hoping to get exemption.
The next hearing into the matter is fixed on November 12.
He said that the State Government was almost in the process of working out issues relating to environment aspect which was not done in the last four years adding that Government had started the process of streamlining the whole process and Government was very close to see thing were normal in few months
Meanwhile, reacting to a query about the frequent transfer of officers, he said that the previous government in the year 2017-18 had transferred more than 100 officers and so they should not blame the current government while maintaining that it was a normal procedure.
He also said that the there were demands that the post of Director of Mining should be held by a technical person and government was doing everything in the interest of the department and the people.