SHILLONG, April 12: The National People’s Party (NPP) led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) state government has decided to seek the Centre’s aid in resolving the ban on coal mining activities in Meghalaya which has been imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
It may be noted here that the ninth Meghalaya Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution in 2015 to urge the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule through a Presidential notification to exempt Meghalaya from the Central laws related to mining which include the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, and the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act.
“We have decided to pursue the resolution passed by the House in 2015 with the Centre government for its consideration,” Senior Cabinet Minister, Prestone said after a Cabinet meeting which was held here on Thursday.
He also informed that Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma will be leading a team of Ministers to New Delhi on Friday to discuss the issue with the Centre.
“We will urge the Centre to invoke para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution to exempt the state from the provisions of Central laws on mining,” Tynsong said.
He however maintained that getting Meghalaya exempted from the applicability of Central laws on mining does not mean that the state has to compromise on issues concerning the environment.
Tynsong also informed that upon returning from Delhi, the Chief Minister will present a statement in the Assembly in this current budget session of the tenth Assembly.
Tynsong also informed that the Cabinet had discussed how to move forward and ensure that the ban on coal mining in the state is lifted as it has affected the economy of the state and the people.
He said that the state’s advocate general, Amit Kumar was also present since there are also matters related to mining which are pending in courts – Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal.
The National Green Tribunal has banned coal mining in Meghalaya since April 17, 2014 and the ban will complete four years on April 17 this year.