Coal ban has pushed people in JH towards poverty: MLA

SHILLONG, March 21: Santa Mary Shylla, the first-time MLA from the coal-rich area of Sutnga Saipung, on Tuesday said that the NGT ban on coal mining has tremendously impacted the life of people in her constituency who are teetering on the brink of poverty.
In her maiden speech in the Assembly, the NPP MLA pointed out that a large number of people in East Jaintia Hills depend directly or indirectly on coal for income.
Since the ban, trade activities have also been severely impacted since the ban has curtailed the purchasing power of the people, she said while participating in the general discussion on the Governor’s address.
Lauding the government for taking the initiative to start legal coal mining, Shylla said, “I have been made to understand that there are several applicants for the mining lease under MMDR Act. However, mining is yet to start till date.”
She requested the state government to expedite the process of starting legal coal mining.
Shylla, who is one of the three women legislators, also spoke on the need to upgrade National Highway-6 from two lanes to four lanes, especially between Mawryngkneng and Malidor, in view of the increasing number of vehicles, especially heavy vehicles plying through this road on a daily basis.
“We are experiencing frequent traffic congestion along NH-6 both in West and East Jaintia Hills districts. I request the government to pay utmost attention to this matter,” Shylla said.

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