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Apply recommendations in mining policy: HSPDP
Published on 16 Feb. 2010 12:40 AM IST
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The Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP) today urged the government to implement the state mining policy only after the recommendations of two joint committees - Uranium mining and Meghalaya land transfer. In a statement issued here today HSPDP General Secretary T Lyngdoh said the government had formed two joint committees - one to amend the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act and the other on Uranium mining last year and their recommendations were awaited. The joint committees consist of members drawn from NGOs, government officials and political parties. Lyngdoh also suggested that the state government must undertake necessary corrections in the draft mining policy before adopting and implementing it, as reported by UNI. The state government had released the draft mining policy on October 2 last year and sought opinions from NGOs, political parties and stakeholders to be incorporated in the final draft. The basic idea behind the mining policy was to oversee that minerals such as Uranium, limestone, coal and other minerals were mined in a scientific way. As of now coal is mined in an unscientific manner in many parts of the state leading to widespread deforestation and other environmental degradation with the government having little say as the mines are privately owned. “The prevailing land holding system in the state which is a sixth scheduled area cannot be circumvented. Therefore any policy, whether for mining industrial or other purposes, must initially and primarily base itself on this unalterable fact,’’ HSPDP general secretary T Lyngdoh said. The HSPDP, however, said due to the unique land holding system and existence of acts and policies to protect the tribal people’s interests in the state, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, ‘’cannot be operative in Meghalaya.’’ The political party, having its base in West Khasi district of the state, further suggested that an expert committee should be formed with representatives from political parties and civil society organisations to prepare the final draft.

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