State Govt inaction on mining policy irks miners

SHILLONG: The State Government’s alleged slow approach in framing the mining plan and policy in line with the direction of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) at a time when the government has shown haste in framing the Ordinance and a new Bill to empower headmen, has come under criticism.
The Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners’ and Operators’ Association, while criticizing the Government on its eagerness to frame rules for headmen, questioned the undue delay in framing the mining policy, a requirement to resume coal mining in the State.
In a statement issued to the media, Augustine Shanpru, president of the association, on Sunday said that the Government is eager to interfere into the realm of the autonomous district councils whereas it is least bothered to frame the mining policy which is the need of the hour to vacate the stay order of the NGT against ban on coal mining.
He pointed out that there will be many ill effects of the ban on  coal mining, if the state government continues to delay framing the mining policy.
“The State government should not waste its time in venturing into territories which are apparently beyond its administrative borders unless and until it intends to dilute the constitutional powers of the district councils or dissolve them altogether,” Shanpru said.
While on one side, the state government is trying to make some constitutional amendments in order to give more powers to the district councils like the case of Agreed Text of Settlement signed with ANVC, ANVC-B groups, on the other hand, the same government is trying to dilute the powers of the district councils, the truckers’ body pointed out.
According to Shanpru, since the present issue of empowerment of Rangbah Shnong is still pending in the Supreme Court and the High Court of Meghalaya, the matter is sub judice for the state government to trespass into the affairs of district councils or frame any rules or policy on the matter so long as it is still lying with the court of law.
“On many occasions we have seen many important issues not being discussed by the government with the excuse that they are pending in the court of law. But this time the issue sub judice doesn’t exist,” Shanpru pointed out, while asking the members of the Legislative Assembly whether they were ready to insult the courts by debating the matter when it is lying before the Supreme Court and the High Court of Meghalaya.

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