SHILLONG, Nov 08: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has expressed its vehement opposition to the proposed move of the state government to allow the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited (MMDC) to carry out mining activities on tribal lands in the state.
“We have decided to write to the minister in-charge of mining and geology department and to the MMDC to seek clarification that on what ground the state government is allowing the MMDC to take up mining activities without the consent of the district councils in the state,” the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the KHADC, PN Syiem said here on Wednesday.
The state government in its affidavit filed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had also proposed to allow the MMDC to take up coal mining activities in the state as per provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957.
Syiem however said that it is not possible for the state government to take such decision without taking the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India into consideration.
“This is because the state government has to take the district councils into account in view that many of the coal mines are falling under their respective jurisdictions,” he said.
Stating that the decision of the state government will be meaningless if the ADCs are objecting to this move, Syiem, who is also a suspended Congress member, said, “I fail to understand why this government is trying to go against the wishes of the stakeholders.”
Meanwhile, the KHADC has also decided to amend the service rules through an executive order which will be placed before the next session of the Council.
According to Syiem, the proposed amendment to the service rules is aimed at uplifting welfare of the employees of the Council.