SHILLONG, Nov 29: The Geological Survey of India (GSI) will be unable to carry out any survey work for mineral deposits if the ban on coal mining that has been imposed throughout Meghalaya is not lifted.
This has come about after a decision made by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council that it will not issue a No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to the GSI unless the ongoing ban is lifted.
“We will not issue the NOC to the GSI. If the government wants to carry out survey on mineral deposits it should ensure that ban on coal mining is lifted,” KHADC Executive Member (EM) in-charge Land, Mines & Minerals Latiplang Kharkongor said here on Thursday.
He informed that the Deputy Director General of GSI North Eastern Region, Shillong through a letter sent on November 21, had requested the Council to issue a NOC for carrying out geological mapping, survey, mineral exploration and research activities in parts of Khasi Hills Districts.
Stating that the GSI is not involved in any mining activities of minerals nor is it involved in the search or exploration of uranium or other radioactive minerals, the Deputy Director General said that the GSI works for identification of presence of mineral resources only.
He also said that the active field season of GSI begins in the month of November and field officers are supposed to complete the field work within 120 days by March, next year.
The GSI official also informed that the findings are prepared in the form of geological or mineral exploration reports which are handed over to the state government authorities like the chief secretary, principal secretary of the Department of Mineral Resources.
In this regard, Kharkongor said that the GSI should also submit a report on the matter to the district council since land is a subject under its purview.
“Moreover, when our people are not allowed to mine coal how can we allow such survey to be carried out because such exploratory works also involves extraction (of samples) and it may also affect the environment,” he said while adding that the decision of the district council will soon be conveyed to the GSI.
Meanwhile, Kharkongor also issued a strong warning to traditional heads against issuing NOCs to private companies without the knowledge of the Council. “We will take stern action against any traditional head who grants NOC to companies especially those engaged in mining activities,” he said.