Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Saturday said that any mining activity could start only after the Centre gives State II clearance.
He was briefing the media in Guwahati on the issue of “coal mining” in Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.
“Mining has been stopped in October 2019 and till date, no final approval has been accorded,” he said.
The minister was addressing the media after visiting the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary after reports in the media and social media went viral about permission being given to Coal India limited for mining.
He further said that the state government will never allow any coal mining at the cost of the environment.
“We have not applied for any approval for coal mining,” he further said.
Addressing the media, Assam industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that illegal coal mining has been going since 2003-2013.
“When CIL applied for post-facto approval and the matter came to the state government, mining was stopped eventually,” he said.
Patowary further informed that CIL was paying royalty and the elephant corridor was around 10 sq km away from where the mining is taking place now.
“The area in question doesn’t fall under Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, Patowary further said.
It may be mentioned here that Suklabaidya on Wednesday had visited Saleki- the area where the illegal coal mining is allegedly taking place- and took stock of the situations there.