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Congress legislator concerned over coal mining racket

Staff Correspondent
Shillong, April 19:  Opposition Congress legislator from Umroi George B Lyngdoh on Thursday expressed concern over the illegal mining of coal in the State despite the ban called by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on mining.   
Speaking during the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Assembly on a call attention motion, Lyngdoh lamented that in the name of coal mining minors were being used for mining coal, which was also causing harm to the environment. “Coal mining is a lucrative activity. The minors who are working in the mines are being deprived of their basic rights (Right to education). Besides, the mining activity has led to the annihilation of our environment and nature,” the Umroi legislator said.
The Umroi MLA also said an organized racket is involved in the illegal mining of coal as well as in using of fake challans by coal transporters.
“The coal-laden trucks ply with fake challans or at times even without challans,” Lyngdoh added.
Replying to the query, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said he and the Chief Secretary have directed the deputy commissioners to hold meetings and to check the illegal mining of coal.
“We are committed to ensure the economy of the state should not suffer as well as see that the damage to the environment is minimised,” Conrad said.  “The government will ensure that the mining is done in a responsible manner. Besides, the safety of the miners will also be taken into account,” the Chief Minister added.