Regional

M’laya govt committed to promote scientific mining

M’laya govt committed to promote scientific mining
Prestone Tynsong (File)
Correspondent Shillong, Sep 9 | Publish Date: 9/9/2019 10:51:25 AM IST

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong on Monday reiterated government’s commitment to promote scientific, environment friendly and safe coal mining in the state.

“The present government is committed to protect the rights and interests of indigenous people in respect of their rights over mineral resources,” Tynsong said replying on a Zero Hour discussion, during the Autumn Session of the Assembly.

He informed the assembly that the government will shortly lay down steps to be followed for starting scientific, safe and environmentally sound coal mining in the state complying with all statutory Acts and Rules

He said that the state government while approaching the Supreme Court challenged the order dated, August 31, 2018 passed by the NGT and questioned the order of ban on coal mining in the state.

“Immediately after coming to power, the present government for the first time since the imposition of ban by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2014 took up the issue seriously and approached the Supreme Court,” said Tynsong.

The Deputy Chief Minister also clarified that in the event of mining operations undertaken by the tribals or other owners of hills districts Meghalaya in accordance with mining lease obtained from the state as per the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 and Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, the ban order of the NGT dated April 17, 2014 shall not come in its way of carrying mining operations.

For granting of mining lease, he said it is not the state government which will grant mining lease, but it is the private/community owner of land, who is entitled to grant mining lease for minerals owned by them as per provisions of Chapter V of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 after obtaining, prior approval of the central government through the state government.

“The private owner/community owner has to make an application to state government and it will authorize the private/community owner to grant the lease subject to compliance by lease holders of all the provisions/conditions of various Acts and Rules,” Tynsong said.

Moreover, Tynsong said, previously the biggest obstacle for coal mining in the state was mandatory allotment of coal blocks/mining lease to a company through auction by competitive bidding under provisions of Section 11 A of MMDR Act, 1957.

“Now, there is no need to follow auction process for coal mining and the land owner is entitled to grant mining leases for coal blocks owned by him subject compliances as required,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

 

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