The Leader of Opposition and Ex-Meghalaya Chief Minisiter Dr Mukul Sangma on Thursday alleged the Conrad Sangma-led MDA Government is “facilitating and encouraging illegal mining”.
Mukul Sangma also said the Meghalaya Government’s lies have been exposed through the incident where miners got trapped inside a coal mine at Khloo Ryngksan in East Jaiñtia Hills district.
Former Chief Minister Sangma also accused the MDA Government of being insensitive to the incident in East Jaiñtia Hills district. He questioned, “Who has stopped the Chief Secretary and the DGP from implementing the NGT order to stop illegal coal mining?”
The NGT had banned rat-role mining in Meghalaya since April 17, 2014.
“The opposition has repeatedly cautioned the Government within and outside the State Assembly about illegal mining taking place in some other parts of the State, but the State Government through the Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma had repeatedly denied illegal mining,” said Mukul Sangma.
“The State Government’s complete denial despite illegal mining going on has revealed that the truth cannot be hidden. Their lies have been exposed through this recent incident where miners got trapped in East Jaiñtia Hills and the denial of the Chief Minister has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Government is facilitating and encouraging illegal mining,” Sangma alleged.
He said that the onus and responsibility to stop illegal mining and comply with the NGT directives has been vested with the State Chief Secretary and the DGP, but compliance to NGT orders in the recent past was not attended to by the authorities concerned including the Chief Secretary and the DGP.
“It has proved that the NGT directives have not been implemented. Appropriate action has to be initiated against them and we will see that this happens. We will not allow these people to go scot-free. There are many more things which will be expressed further as rampant illegal mining is being encouraged by them. The fact is that in the last few months illegal coal mining has been taking place with no sign of any attempt to stop the same proves,” the former CM said.
He alleged, “Beyond reasonable doubt that top bureaucrats have decided to turn a blind eye to this illegalities happening across the coal belt in the State. The NGT order clearly calls for compliance, and ensure implementation of the order by the chief secretary and the DGP. Who has stopped the Chief Secretary and the DGP from implementing the NGT order? They have made a mockery of the NGT order and they cannot go scot-free.”
Commenting on the incident where 15 miners were trapped inside the coal mine at Khloo Ryngksan in East Jaiñtia Hills district, the former Chief Minister alleged that there has been complete insensitivity and dereliction of duty resulting in the failure to save precious lives.
Stating that the responsibility of the State Government is to ensure safety, Mukul Sangma alleged that after so many days of the incident, there was insensitivity and no sign of commitment by the State Government.
“The culpability aspect has to be taken, and punishment has to be initiated against the concerned authority based on the culpability aspect for not responding on time in saving precious lives. They have to be prosecuted as per law. It is shameful and should be strongly condemned in as far as their insensitivity is concerned towards the given situation. They have brought shame to the State and the nation,” said Mukul Sangma.
The NDRF and SDRF personnel, Indian Navy, Odisha Fire Services, Coal India Limited, Kirloskar Brothers Limited and other agencies are camping at Khloo Ryngksan to carry out rescue operations.