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CM meets Coal India officials to dispose of extracted coal

SHILLONG: Following the Supreme Court asking the Coal India Ltd to dispose of the coal stock lying in different parts of the state, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Saturday held a meeting with the chairman and other officials of the PSU in Kolkata. Sangma, along with MLAs and officials of the Mining and Geology department, discussed on how to dispose of the already extracted coal stock . Later, the chief minister said the meeting discussed about the logistics and how to take the whole issue forward. “The response was very positive and the meeting was very productive,” Sangma said while adding that the areas which the Meghalaya government and the Coal India should work on were defined. “I am very positive and we will take it forward and we will find a way on how can we dispose of the coal in the most efficient and effective manner,” the chief minister said. Sangma said the state

government and Coal India are trying to find out the best manner in which the 32 lakh metric tonnes extracted coal can be disposed of from the state. The Coal India is looking at the state government to play an important role in facilitating the PSU to auction the coal and the government has been asked by the Coal India to come with different grades of coal, conducting surveys and giving a list of coal stocks to the PSU. Earlier, the apex court while lifting the ban on coal mining in Meghalaya had stated that the entire extracted coal lying at various places in hills districts of Meghalaya will be taken over by Coal India Ltd and it would dispose of the same as per its normal method. The Supreme Court earlier had allowed coal mining operations in Meghalaya, on the privately and community owned land subject to the permissions from the concerned authorities and as per the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Five years ago, on April 17, 2014, the National Green Tribunal NGT), had banned coal mining in Meghalaya after the Assam-based All Dimasa Student’s Union and Dima Hasao district committee filed a petition, stating the acidic discharge from unscientific coal mines of Meghalaya was polluting the Kopili river downstream.

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