Sunday, June 4, 2023

Scientific coal mining to begin in Meghalaya


Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday said that scientific coal mining will begin in Meghalaya within the next couple of months with the Centre having approved the mining leases of four miners.
“This NPP (National People’s Party) government has been working tirelessly to resume mining in the State. So in 2019, we filed a petition in the Supreme Court after mining was banned by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). In 2019, the Supreme Court lifted the ban and asked the Centre and Meghalaya government to frame a policy for scientific mining,” Sangma said. The apex court had held that private as well as community landowners have both surface rights and sub-surface rights, and minerals are owned by private and community landowners. The Chief Minister said the Centre and Meghalaya government have prepared a mining plan as directed by the Supreme Court and the Centre had recently approved the mining lease of four miners.
“The final paperwork for scientific mining will be completed within 60 days. The commencement of scientific mining will be landmark in the history of Meghalaya, as it ensures minimal environmental impact through sustainable and legally compliant extraction procedure,” he added. As part of scientific mining, reclamation of coal mining areas and use of advanced technologies, such as remote sensing, aerial surveys, and 3D modeling, would be prioritized and environmental impact would be mitigated significantly,” an official statement said, adding that it would provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the citizens and revenue to the state’s exchequer.
On April 25 last, the Union ministry of coal had provided previous approval for mining lease to four applicants of the 17 prospecting license applicants.
In April 2014, the NGT had imposed a blanket ban on coal mining and transportation in the state, following which mining industry suffered a negative growth thereby affecting the GSDP as a whole.
Apart from the impact on the economy, the ban severely crippled the lives of thousands of people dependent on the mining sector, both directly and indirectly.
Meanwhile, the official statement said that income generated from scientific coal mining will be invested in the educational and healthcare sectors.


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