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Coal mining ban: No NGT relief for miners

Tribunal to conduct next hearing on Oct 11

SHILLONG: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) dealing with the ban on coal mining is yet to give relief to miners in the state though the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday.
During the hearing on coal related issues, NGT asked the Ministry of Environment and Forest to file an affidavit regarding the mining plan and guidelines submitted by the state government to the ministry.
The miners had already opposed the submission of the government before NGT regarding entrusting mining-related activities to Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation (MMDC).
An official source said on Wednesday that NGT also asked the State Government to file the status of quantity of coal that was lying at the time of passing the NGT order in April 2014, judgment of the Supreme Court related to the matter and the current quantity of coal.
The next hearing has been scheduled for October 11.
Sources said NGT wanted to know the exact quantity of coal since there are cases of illegal mining being carried out in parts of Jaintia Hills.
Earlier, the state government had submitted before NGT that while 23 lakh metric tonnes of extracted coal were already transported, around 8 lakh metric tonnes are still lying to be transported.
After NGT had declared a moratorium on further transportation of the already extracted coal, the miners under the banner Co-ordination Committee of Coal Owners, Miners and Dealers Forum (SCCCOMDF) had approached the Supreme Court.
The court had allowed transportation of extracted coal till May 31 this year. The miners again wanted the Apex Court to relax the date for transportation of the extracted coal but the matter is yet to come up for hearing.

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