Conrad Sangma being felicitated for fighting NGT ban against coal mining. Image credit: Twitter

Daranggre Nokmas Welfare Association of Nongalbibra area in South Garo Hills felicitated Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma for winning a legal battle against NGT ban on coal mining.

The felicitation programme took place on Wednesday at Pathalgittim area of Nongalbibra.

A host of luminaries including state education minister Lakhmen Rymbui attended the programme.

“Government has achieved what it had promised before elections,” said Sangma while addressing the gathering.

“There is no more NGT ban on coal mining,” Conrad Sangma added.

“During the ban, people of coal mining areas suffered a lot,” Conrad Sangma further said.

“Keeping these sufferings in mind, the government worked tirelessly to lift the ban which will help the people in improving their earning sources,” added Conrad Sangma.

The CM also lauded the work of advocate general Amit Kumar and his legal team.

Sangma said that keeping in the mind the need to protect the natural environment and mining safety, a case was filed at SC challenging the NGT ban on coal mining.

“The team won the legal battle which ultimately resulted in lifting the ban,” the CM said.

Highlighting the Supreme Court ruling, the chief minister informed the gathering that the government challenged the NGT ban.

“The court passed a historic judgement saying that the land and the minerals belong to the landowners thereby protecting the rights of the tribals,” Conrad Sangma added.

The chief minister also informed that illegally extracted coal will be auctioned by the Coal India Limited under the provisions of the MMDR Act, 1950.

Speaking further, Conrad Sangma said, “Political will of the present government will bring visible changes to the state and its people.

Conrad Sangma, saying that the coal deposits in the state are limited, urged the people of the coal mining areas to invest in other sectors too so that livelihood in the future is affected.

Conrad Sangma also expressed his gratitude to the coal dealers and miners associations of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hills district for their support and cooperation in the challenge against the NGT ban.

“Respect the need to protect the natural environment,” Conrad Sangma further urged the gathering.

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