Meghalaya News


BJP promises to resolve mining ban impasse

 From A Correspondent

Shillong, Aug 12: The BJP on Saturday assured the people of Meghalaya that if the party is voted to power in 2018 Assembly elections, it will work towards resolving the issue of ban on coal mining by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the State.
Addressing media persons here, BJP national spokesperson and in-charge Meghalaya Nalin Kohli said the BJP will work towards fulfilling this commitment within a time span of six to eight months, if voted to power in 2018.
“BJP’s agenda will be to resolve this problem. If voted to power in Meghalaya, we will work with all the stakeholders keeping in mind the environmental concerns and those who are working in the field of environment. We will come up with a comprehensive solution and work with the Union Government to the satisfaction of the law in the country,” Kohli said.
He also accused the Congress led MUA-II government of trying to deceive the people of the State by announcing that in order to get the NGT ban on coal mining lifted the government recently planned that coal mining would be carried out by the state-owned Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited (MMDC).
“Now, just before the elections, this  idea of the MMDC only makes us worried since a serious attempt has not been done all this while to resolve the crisis face by the people,” Kohli said.
“We wonder whether this is just another move to somehow pretend with elections being so close that we are trying to do something and shift the blame of not doing anything for three years to resolve the problem. Our charge against the Meghalaya government is that for three years we have not see any solution come by,” the BJP leader added.
It may be mentioned that in April 2014, the NGT had banned coal mining in the State blaming the illegal rat-hole mining in Jaintia Hills for the pollution in Kopili river and turning its water acidic.    
The BJP leader said the solution promised by the State government is nothing but eyewash on the eve of the election to somehow try and fool the people of Meghalaya. “But in reality, the Congress-led government in Meghalaya is doing nothing,” he added.
Kohli also accused the State government of failing to remove the hardship caused to the people.
He said neither the environmental protection has been ensured by the government nor has it been able to improve the overall economic condition of the State. “The environmental concern, which is the main issue of the NGT, has also not been addressed,” he added.
“Now, just before the election, this idea of the MMDC only makes us worried since a serious attempt has not taken been undertaken to resolve the crisis face by the people. The people of Meghalaya deserve to have a good economic condition. They deserve to have a good environment. But most important, they expect the government to respond to the need of both the environment as well as the economy. A government not taking any decision, a government postponing a resolution of an issue, a government sitting over a problem and a government pretending to have a resolve is not acceptable,” Kohli said.
In May this year, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma had announced his government’s plan that coal mining would be carried out by the State-owned MMDC by working out a revenue-sharing formula in order to regulate mining activities in the State