Govt submits coal miners’ list to NGT

Mukul confident of resolving NGT ban on coal mining

SHILLONG:  The State government has submitted names of  the coal mine owners, whose mines are being used for illegal extraction of coal, to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) even as Chief Minister Mukul Sangma  on Tuesday exuded confidence of resolving the ban imposed by the Tribunal on coal mining in the state.
The NGT has set a precondition to the state government to provide the names of as many as 20 mine owners, whose mines are being used for illegal extraction of coal, before fulfilling the demand of the government to extend the date of payment of royalty till April 15.
Informing this on Tuesday from Delhi, Supreme Court lawyer and counsel for the State government Ranjan Mukherjee said that names were submitted   as   per the NGT direction.
The matter will be heard on Wednesday.
He said that the list includes names and addresses of the miners whose mines are being used for carrying out illegal mining of coal.
Sangma, meanwhile, replying to a motion moved by opposition legislators KP Pangniang and Diosstarness Jyndiag in the state Assembly,  said  that the Ministry of coal is examining the mining guidelines  framed by the State Government post NGT ban.
Sangma expressed optimism to resolve the crisis following the NGT ban on mining and transportation of coal in the state, by submitting a mining policy which will ensure protection of the environment and also the safety of workers.
The Chief Minister said the state was also awaiting the Centre’s approval, which would provide a cover from the Central Mineral Mining Laws in the state to ensure individual coal mine owners access to the mines.
Sangma  pointed out that  the  stand of the Government to invoke Paragraph 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution has not been ignored by the Centre and the matter is being taken up at the highest level  and added that the Government expects a favourable   response.
Last year, the state assembly adopted a resolution to urge the Centre for invoking para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule through a presidential notification to ensure the relevant provisions of two acts- MMDR and Coal Mines Nationalisation Act, 1973 is exempted for operation in Meghalaya.
He added that the intention of the State Government  was to restore the right of people over mines and if the   Coal Mines Nationalization Act  1973  is to be interpreted, no one has the rights over the mines.
Jyndiang, later, slammed the NGT  saying it  is over stepping  its jurisdiction and he even called for a  review of NGT performance saying that the tribunal has been criticized a lot in the last four years and many call it “power hungry institution”
Immediately, Sangma stood up and  urged the chairman Ronnie V Lyngdoh to restrict the comment of the MLA  since NGT is a quasi judicial   body.
Lyngdoh then immediately directed the MLA not  to question the role of NGT.