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Govt to seek exemptions to traditional mining practices

SHILLONG: In pursuance of the recommendations of the Group of Officers constituted by the Centre to deal with the issues related to ban on coal mining, the State Government is planning to submit a proposal to the Centre for suitable exemptions to traditional mining practices (rat hole mining) under Para 12A(b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution  of India after due consultation with all the stakeholders.
The Meghalaya Governor Keshari  Nath Tripathi while addressing the House on the first day of the Budget session on Monday said that in  response to the request of the State Government, the Government of  India has  constituted a Committee of Group of Officers under the  chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary with the Chief Secretary, Government of  Meghalaya, as one of the members to work out a harmonious solution to the ban on coal mining.
He said based on the recommendations of the Group of Officers, the State  Government would seek exemption under Para 12A(b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution
The exemption is to carry on with existing traditional mining practices in the State.
Besides this, the Governor  said that on the request of the State Government , the ministry of coal has also constituted an expert group led by Central Mine Planning and Design Institute  Limited to prepare  broad guidelines  for the mining of coal in the state and the Director General of Mines Safety to prepare guidelines  on health, occupational safety, and related issues. The Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation will be strengthened to provide guidance and technical assistance to miners to prepare Mining Plan including mine closure plan, the Governor said . According to the Governor, the State Government will facilitate reclamation of abandoned mines and also take steps for restoration of acidic water bodies.
The Governor also said that  State Government has also constituted a committee to frame administrative  guidelines, rules and appropriate  procedures for the implementation of the Meghalaya Mines and Mineral Policy 2012  which aims at facilitating systematic, scientific and planned utilization of mineral resources and to bring  coal mining within the  fold of a  regulatory regime.
The State Government will come up with an appropriate mining scheme to meet the requirement of mining on scientific  basis duly addressing environmental concerns, safety and health factors , he said.
No swine flu case: Despite the spread of swine flu in other parts of the country, till date, no case was reported in the State, Tripathi said.
“Till date, no case of swine flu was reported in the state. Awareness to the public about the outbreak of swine flu in the country has been made through print and electronic media”, the Governor said in his speech.
He also said that drugs for the treatment of disease are available with the State Government and they have been allowed to be sold through licensed chemists.

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