Monday, March 4, 2024

Kharlukhi wants Centre to start scientific coal mining in state

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SHILLONG, Feb 11: Former NPP State president and Rajya Sabha member, WR Kharlukhi has asked the Centre to operationalise scientific coal mining in the state immediately.
Stating that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned coal mining in Meghalaya in 2014 with an order that scientific mining should be introduced in the state, Kharlukhi on Sunday said the coal business catered to the needs of thousands of families who have been impacted severely since the ban.
He said the families dependant on the coal business have been deprived of their right to earn livelihood which is a fundamental right guaranteed to every Indian citizen.
Asserting that the ban has affected the  district councils severely, he said, “Coal was the main source of revenue for both the Jaintia Hills and the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council. For almost a year the staff of both the councils have not been paid their salaries,” he said.
“With the ban on coal the revenue earned from the cess, used for education, is now zero. The result is that the state has been witnessing a series of strikes by teachers over unpaid dues,” he added.
Appreciating the Centre for allowing the state to start mining in a scientific way, he said, “I would like to request the government to immediately start the process of scientific coal mining in my state.”
He also stated that he tried to raise the issue in the Rajya Sabha and the matter was listed but could not be taken up due to paucity of time.
Last year, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had stated that the final stage of the scientific coal mining plan is being vetted and things will start happening in a matter of weeks or a month.
The government is currently in the process of giving approval to the mining plans of four agencies that have received the NOC from the Centre, Sangma had said.

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