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Law on coal mining mulled

Shillong, July 21: Meghalaya is mulling a law to regulate coal mining in the state in consonance with a central legislation. This follows the National Green Tribunal’s ban on coal mining in the state.

Deputy chief minister in-charge of the law department Rowell Lyngdoh told reporters that a committee constituted by the state government has been entrusted with preparing a draft bill on the regulation of coal mining in the state.

“What we want is a state law on coal mining and this law should not clash with the provisions of the central law,” Lyngdoh said.

The minister said the committee, headed by additional chief secretary K.S. Kropha, is yet to submit a report in this regard.

Stating that the order of the tribunal banning coal mining in Meghalaya has had serious repercussions on the people and the economy, including flow of revenue to the state government, Lyngdoh, however, has no official figures about the loss of revenue because of the ban.

To solve the problem, the deputy chief minister felt that the three parties — coal miners, coal mine owners and the state government — should come together to find a solution. The NGT has banned coal mining since April 17. On June 9, the tribunal had allowed transportation of coal already extracted and kept in the open field.

The next hearing of the tribunal is on August 1.