SHILLONG, May 2: National People’s Party MLAs, Banteidor Lyngdoh and Pyniaid Sing Syiem and Independent legislator, Lambor Malngiang said they would take up the plight of people suffering from the ban on sand and stone mining with Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma.
The three MLAs made the commitment while attending a meeting convened by the Joint Action Committee of Stone Crusher Owners’ Association and Quarry Owners’ & Workers’ Association of East Khasi Hills, held at Lad Nongkrem on Monday.
Lyngdoh, who is also a minister in the NPP-led MDA Government, said they will impress on the state government to allow resumption of mining and quarrying of sand and stone.
“We are concerned about the problems faced by the people due to this ban. But we also need to ensure that there is no adverse impact on the environment due to mining activities,” he said.
Echoing the minister, Malngiang said he was ready to challenge the officers on their justification of the ban. “I am sure that through joint efforts we will be able to resolve the problem faced by those engaged in mining of sand and stone,” he said.
The association had invited all the seven MLAs from East Khasi Hills to attend the meeting which was convened to oppose the ban on mining and quarrying of sand and stone by the Forest and Environment department.
The ban was implemented in 2016 after the Meghalaya Minor Mineral Concession Rules (MMMCR), 2016 came into force.
Earlier, the District Magistrate of East Khasi Hills had promulgated an order under Section 144 CrPC prohibiting illegal mining and quarrying without obtaining a mining licence, quarry permit and other clearance certificates from concerned authorities.
Prior to that, the National Green Tribunal had also issued an order restraining mining and quarry activity or removal of sand from river beds anywhere in the country without obtaining valid mining licence, quarry permit and other clearance certificates prescribed by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).