Representative photo. Image credit - Meghalaya Times

The process to auction extracted coal of Meghalaya will take at least four months.

The remaining extracted coal has to be auctioned and the Meghalaya government should hand over to the Coal India Limited (CIL) as directed by the Supreme Court.

The apex court in its judgment delivered on July 3 lifted the ban on coal mining in Meghalaya which was imposed by the National Green Tribunal since April 17, 2014.

Also read: Meghalaya’s coal forum hails Supreme Court judgment on coal mining

However the court did not allow mining to take place in Meghalaya without following various mining laws.

The state has to enforce mining laws for carrying out mining activities, including the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

On Thursday, the mining and geology department convened a meeting with coal miners and district officials of the coal-rich East Jaiñtia Hills district and discussed with them the process related to e-auction of coal.

Also read: Meghalaya rights activists hail SC verdict on coal mining

Commissioner and secretary in charge mining and geology department, Tining Dkhar chaired the meeting.

“The process of auctioning the assessed extracted coal lying in the different parts of East Jaiñtia Hills district will take not less than four months,” he said.

The deputy commissioner of East Jaiñtia Hills district has been entrusted to conduct awareness programmes on e-auction process, while a team from the mining and geology department will identify the coal stock lying in different places.

“After this, a unique number will be issued to each stock, and this will be followed by testing of the quality of coal. There will be different prices based on the quality of the coal, after which, a notice will be issued by the Coal India Ltd for auctioning,” he said.

There are over 400 coal stock owners, according to a list, submitted by the East Jaiñtia Hills district administration and the quantity of coal assessed is around 17 lakh metric tons in the district.

“There are 32 lakh metric tons of coal in the entire state,” he said.

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