Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday informed that the geological reports submitted by four applicants have been approved by the Ministry of Coal. 

Stating that Meghalaya is one step closer to starting mining in a scientific manner, Sangma the Government of India had sent written communication. The four miners will submit their mining plans as per the norms laid down by the Government of Meghalaya and the Government of India and is expected that the licenses would shortly be given to these four miners.

The four miners are the Kalagaw block, Nehlang block, Saryngkham A block and Pyndengshahlang block.

Earlier, the Meghalaya government had filed a case in the Supreme Court against the ban imposed on coal mining in 2014 by the National Green Tribunal. Since then, there have been no concrete steps that were taken to lift the ban on coal mining. 

“It was only when this government had come in, we had taken up the matter in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had given a landmark judgement during that time, where we had been able to ensure that the ownership of the land, both surface and subsurface, will be vested with the locals,” recalled Sangma.

“The ban has led to a lot of huge economic losses for the people. And more importantly, people have suffered a lot because earlier once the ban was put in, no steps were taken to really lift the ban at that point in time. It was solely this government that the steps have taken and we have put in a lot of hard work into this,” added Sangma.

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