Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma with Union home minister Rajnath Singh, among others

New Delhi: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday held a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh along with his partners from the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government to discuss the long-pending issue of coal mining in the state.

“There is a need to have regulated mining in Meghalaya with utmost care on safety of miners and environment. The ban on mining has affected the socio-economic condition of the people, who are dependent on coal as well as loss of revenue generation for the State,” the CM told Rajnath Singh, while expressing his concern over restarting of regulated mining.

Meghalaya mining secretary C Manjunath gave a presentation to the Union minister on the coal issue, which covered a historical background, customary rights of trials, problems, how it is affecting livelihood and also the need for issuance of Presidential notification under paragraph 12A (b) of 6th Schedule of the Constitution exempting certain provisions of Mine and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957.

Sangma assured Singh that the state shall adhere to all environmental, safety norms framed by the Centre in permitting mining activities in Meghalaya. It was also made clear that the technical committee constituted by the state for approving mining plan shall have representatives of the Central government. It was also pointed out that the director general of mine safety would be free to inspect mines in Meghalaya at any point of time.

Singh considered all the aspects and gave a positive response, assuring the delegation that he would look into the issue.

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