Cong slams Conrad for ‘misinformation’ on coal

SHILLONG: The Opposition Congress has accused the state government, particularly the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, of misleading coal miners and other stakeholders into believing that coal mining has resumed in the state.
Talking to media persons after the meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Thursday, its leader Mukul Sangma said the government was claiming that coal mining resumed and people have even started bringing in labourers for the purpose.
“The government should have been responsible and the whole tamasha is being done by the chief minister himself,” Mukul said while adding that if people carry out mining now, they will be arrested as per the law but the government is engaging in a misinformation campaign that coal mining has resumed in the state.
He also expressed concern over the plight of small-time coal miners, particularly with regard to getting clearances, after the Supreme Court conditionally lifted the ban on coal mining. Mukul pointed out the government has projected that there are a lot of extracted coal not assessed for the purpose of illegal mining and the NGT committee has clearly stated that mining is carried out illegally in the state.
According to Mukul, a situation has come that the SC could not trust the state government and the authorities and the image of Meghalaya is being tarnished.
He said the Union Government before the SC had submitted that Coal Mines Nationalization Act and MMDR Act should not apply in Meghalaya and now the big question is how small-time miners would face the challenges of getting all the clearances.
“This government was more busy in trying to convince the Supreme Court and plead that coal is lying in mining area but this is to facilitate illegal mining,” the Opposition leader said.

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