FROM OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Aug 5: The State Co-Ordition Committee of Coal Owners, Miners and Dealers Forum (SCCCMDF) has decided to seek permission of the tiol Green Tribul (NGT) to hire a recognized agency to formulate a mining policy for the State.
The forum, which consists of coal mine owners and dealers of the State, passed this resolution at a meeting held in Shillong Club on Wednesday. The decision was taken after the July 31 NGT ruling that threatens to ban all transportation of the assessed extracted coal if the Meghalaya government fails to come up with a concrete mining policy.
Holding the State government responsible for the distressing experiences of the people involved (directly and indirectly) in coal business after the NGT ban the unscientific extraction of the black gold in April, 2014, the secretary of the SCCCMDF, Sunny Khyriem told newsmen, “The State government’s lethargic compliance to the NGT orders has added further woes when it started misinterpreting the latest ruling of the NGT in terms of transportation of the extracted coal.”
“We have decided to seek the NGT permission to consult a recognized agency to formulate the mining policy for the state should the government fails to comply within the stipulated time frame put by the tribul,” stated an agitated Khyriem while pointing out at the government discrepancies that has put the primary, secondary and tertiary business related to coal in a doldrums
On the alleged misinterpretation of the latest NGT ruling, the SCCCMDF counsel said, “The NGT allow the owners of the extracted coal for transportation after payment of royalty. The Penultimate date for transportation is November 30th while the last date for payment of royalty is September 30.”
But the government interpretation that fresh transportation can only take after September 30th is pure misreading of the NGT ruling, contended the SCCCMDF legal counsel, even as the functiories of the forum declared their intention to seek an appointment with the state Chief Secretary P.B.O Warjri for a clarification.
The SCCCMDF claimed that an amount of Rs 600 crores has been paid to the government in terms of royalty and other taxes since the NGT orders. However, in term of returns, there has been little that has been seen in terms of infrastructure on the grounds, stated a coal exporter JC Diengngan while pointing at the pathetic road conditions towards the intertiol export points located in South West Khasi Hills.
According to the SCCCMDF, there is an approximate 5.4 millions of extracted coal lying in Meghalaya.