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Scientific coal mining: Good news for people soon, Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma gives a clear hint

First Published: 16th May, 2024 13:42 IST

According to the Meghalaya Chief Minister, the toughest part of the entire process to allow scientific mining in the state is already over.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has said that there will be good news soon for the people of the state pertaining to scientific coal mining.

Chief Minister Sangma while pointing out that Meghalaya’s position is unique since the land holding rights are owned by the people, said that the entire process is now over at the Government of India’s level.

According to the Meghalaya Chief Minister, the toughest part of the entire process to allow scientific mining in the state is already over.

Sangma said that only a few aspects particularly related to the environment are yet to be resolved which will have to be done by the state government.

Elaborating on the matter, Chief Minister Sangma said, “We are at a very very advanced stage but I have to repeat this again, which I mentioned to you last time also that Meghalaya is in a very unique position because of the land holding rights that we have. Hence when the scientific mining aspect came into being and when the SC had lifted the ban and said that scientific mining has to happen out here, the GoI did not have norms for a landholding system like Meghalaya, where the land is not owned by the government. So in every other location in the country, the land is owned by the government and any individual who wants to apply applies and takes lease from the government and then mines. So here the situation is completely different. So, its a miner with the land owner who has to do it. Hence for the government to come into the picture, and follow the same procedures that were there before, which is as per norms in the rest of the country, did not apply to Meghalaya. Hence it took more time for us to discuss with the Government of India and come out with different provisions that would be suitable for our state, keeping our land holding pattern in mind. Since it is for the first time, it took more time than we expected.

That is the reason why it has been a long procedure, but as I said now that procedure has been defined. The toughest part is over. The most difficult part of creating the system, the norms and the policies, for now future miners to apply, is in place. The first people who had applied for it, who then helped us lay down the entire procedure, is now at a stage where we are at the public hearing stage. So all the work related with the Government of India, where we had to do all the process, procedure, mining plans, different kind of studies, all those aspects have already been approved by the Government of India. The process at the GoI end is over and now only the last bit where certain environmental aspects have to be looked into is left at the state government level and we do expect that we will be able to take this up.”
Asked as to how soon Meghalaya will be witnessing scientific mining, CM Conrad Sangma said, “Very soon as I said, its just a matter of time, be it right after the elections, we should see that we should be able to give good news to our people. As I said I do not want to jump the gun because these are procedures happening for the first time. We could have have glitches which might again delay things. I do expect it, but let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

“As I said for the first time, we are trading this particular path and so it’s not always so easy. Elements of surprises are always there, but I am hopeful that should be able to reach the logical conclusion very very soon,” CM Sangma further said.

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