Govt to issue Do’s and Don’ts for coal mining

SHILLONG: The state government will soon bring out instructions to explain the procedure of scientific coal mining.
A mining and geology department official said on Tuesday that the department is holding discussion with the chief minister and advocate general on the nature of instructions to be circulated to the miners so that this will act as a procedure to be followed when the mining is carried out.
According to the official, the instruction will be a holistic plan as to how to go about mining activities.
The submission of mining plan and the need to take several clearances, including those from the union ministries of coal, forest, environment and labour will be explained in the manual which will be released by the government.
The miners in the state can individually or collectively submit the mining plans.
If the mining area is within 150 hectares, there is a provision for the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority to give clearance to the miners to carry out mining.
“We have to strictly adhere to MMDR Act and other related rules and the miners cannot carry on with rat-hole coal mining any more”, the official added.
The Supreme Court had on July 3 allowed coal mining with certain conditions and in accordance MMDR Act.
Draft policy ready
The mining and geology department has already prepared a draft policy to auction and export the already extracted coal.
“The draft policy will be shared with Coal India Ltd and the NGT-constituted committee headed by retired Justice BP Katakey and after getting their inputs, it will be placed before the state cabinet for final approval” the official added.
The Supreme Court wanted the Coal India Ltd to auction the 32.2 lakh tonnes of already extracted coal.
The Katakey committee held several meetings to discuss the nature of auction and transportation of coal.
The apex court had said the state government after the assessment of the coal lying in four districts, including the details of the quantities and the owners, may ensure that entire coal is handed over to the Coal India Ltd as per the mode and manner to be formulated by Katakey committee in consultation with officers of the Coal India Ltd and Meghalaya government.
The expenses of transportation will be borne by Meghalaya government, Coal India Ltd or by both and the expenses can be deducted from the price received from the coal.
The state will be entitled to royalty and payment towards environment fund as well as taxes out of the price of coal.
“After deducting its expenses for transportation with 10% of price of the coal, the Coal India Ltd shall remit the balance amount to the state and it is for the state after deducting the royalty and payment to the environment fund and taxes to pay back balance amount to the owners”, the court had said.

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