FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, May 20: As part of his visit to the Northeast, the Union Minister for Steel and Mines rendra Singh Tomar called upon the Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr Mukul Sangma at his residence on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media following the meeting, Tomar said that although the Centre is aware about the effect of the ban on coal mining imposed by the tiol Green Tribul (NGT) in Meghalaya, the ruling of the Tribul has to be accepted as the degradation of the environment is an area of critical concern and the need to protect the environment is a priority issue for the Government.
However, he added that the State Government can put forward its grievances before the Tribul.
Stating that Prime Minister rendra Modi is committed to bring the northeastern region at par with the rest of the country in all realms of development, Tomar said the Central government and the State government will work together to bring about progress and prosperity in the State through interventions in areas such as mineral exploration. Meanwhile, Dr Mukul Sangma stressed on the need for proper mechanisms to meet the various statutory laws to revive the mining activities as far as coal mining is concerned and added that there will be a joint exercise and some committees can be set up to look into the matter and format a mechanism to overcome the challenges.
The Chief Minister further said that the Government is expecting full support from the Union Government in this regard and that the Ministry of Coal will also be involved in this exercise as it will have more synergy.
The Chief Minister also said that various sections and clauses from the MMDR Act, 1957 and MMDR Amendment Act, 2015 were discussed in the meeting and how those sections come in the way of traditiol and customary practices. While stating there is a need to work out the modalities to overcome such issues, Dr Sangma also said that there is a need for proper mapping for exploration of minerals so that we know what is available and what is good for the state, the tion and the people.