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Abandoned mining sites to be restored

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SHILLONG, July 5: A six-member team of officials from the Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL) visited coal and non-coal mining sites in Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills to initiate a pilot project for reclamation and restoration of the abandoned mining sites.
There are over 20,000 abandoned mines in East Jaintia Hills alone as per official data.
Coordinator of Mining Affected Area Restoration Project, Naba Bhattacharjee on Friday held a meeting with the CMPDIL officials.
He said the CMPDIL has been taken on board for the purpose of restoration of the mining affected areas in the state, both in the coal and the non-coal sectors.
The team will prepare a detailed project report and chalk out plans on how to go about it.
“The six-member team visited four sites — two coal mines and two non-coal mines. These sites will be taken up as part of the pilot project. We will see what they recommend and how successful this restoration projects are. Then we will go ahead and replicate the plan in other mining sites,” he added.
He said the challenge in the state is that landowners and mine owners have to come forward to hand over their land.
“We have made a beginning and let us see how the pilot project progresses. Then the government will take a decision on how to replicate the same on a larger scale,” he added.

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