Meghalaya Power Minister James K Sangma on Tuesday said the state government is hopeful to bring about a resolution to lift the ban on coal mining in the state to ensure that the two thermal power projects, with an installed capacity of 740 MW, will not face difficulty.
The two thermal projects are at Nongalbibra in South Garo Hills and at Darugiri in East Garo Hills, he said, adding that the detailed project report (DPR) for the project at Nongalbibra has been completed and the application for environmental clearance was submitted to Ministry of Environment and Forest.
“We are hopeful of a resolution to lift the ban on coal mining soon so that these projects will not face any difficulty,” Sangma said, while replying to a supplementary question during question hour in the House.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a blanket ban on unscientific coal mining in the state since April, 2014 affecting its economy and livelihood of a large number of people.
He also informed the Assembly that the project site for the other thermal project has been identified at Darugiri, adding that the bids for coal linkage has been finalised, and lease of land for coal mining is under progress.
The power minister said that Meghalaya is expected to generate a total of 1659.05 MW of power from as many as 15 power projects – 10 hydro projects, two thermal projects and three renewable resources, and submission of detailed project reports (DPRs) for these projects have been completed.
The ruling National Peoples Party, the regional parties and the BJP had sought votes from the people citing failure of the erstwhile Congress government to lift the ban.