FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, March 30: The Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners’ and Operators Association (MCTOOA) had urged the state government that the Scientific Mining Plan and Policy to be soon formulated should not intrude into the right of ownerships and usages of land of the indigenous people.
The association also said that the mining plan should not dilute the power and protection given by the Sixth Schedule to the indigenous people of our state.
In a letter to the government the MCTOOA said that the Government while framing Mining Policy and Plan should not do away
with the current system of mining which is “least damaging to the environment”.
“Of course we cannot deny that the water bodies get polluted due to release of untreated mine water into rivers etc. This can be greatly controlled by making it mandatory for all mine workers/miners/owners to install mine water filtration and treatment plant at the vicinity of their mines and the same should be verified by the concerned government officials prior to the start of mining,” the MCTOOA said in its memorandum.
“Tunnel mining is widely practiced today even in most of the developed countries. So the same should not be stopped in Meghalaya,” the MCTOOA added.
The truckers’ association claimed that the depletion in forest coverage is not in the coal mine areas but in limestones and other minerals.
According to the association in coal mines areas in Meghalaya, there are still forest coverages with thick jungles over it.
The MCTOOA also claimed that the top soils are very less destroyed in coal mining.
“Most of the barrent hills in Meghalaya are not in Coal Mining areas. If one happens to travel from Shillong to Nongstoin along the Highway which is non-coal mining areas one could see that 80 percent of mountains and hills are barren and ked,” the MCTOOA said.
The association said that these areas appeared to be out of the jurisdiction of any Range Forest Offices and hence no one has ever tried to do any research or put on any effort to grow trees in those areas.