Conrad to meet Rajnath over coal mining

Conrad Sangma
Meghalaya CM, Conrad Sangma. File photo.

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and state mining department officials will meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other officials of the ministry in New Delhi on Tuesday to discuss the exemption of central laws to facilitate coal mining in Meghalaya.
Officials from ministries like coal, environment and mining will also be present.
An official source told The Shillong Times that Meghalaya will mainly lay emphasis on entrusting the state to issue mining permission based on the applications of the miners as the process will be long if the Centre takes care of the issues related to granting permission. The official added that the miners will have to send necessary papers to Delhi for mining permission if the sole authority to grant permission is the central government.
During the hearing on the matter on February 19, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to decide on the resumption of coal mining within a month.
The court also referred to the letter of the Coal Ministry, which had mentioned the ministry’s willingness to grant certain exemptions to Meghalaya.
In the past, a delegation from the government led by the chief minister had also met the Union Home Minister and the coal ministry officials, who had assured to convene a meeting of all the relevant departments to find a solution to the pending issue.