Meghalaya CM Conrad K. Sangma discussing coal issue with CIL officials in Kolkata. Image credit - Northeast Now

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma on Saturday discussed the recent Supreme Court order on auctioning of the remaining extracted coal in Meghalaya with officials of Coal India Limited (CIL).

The meeting was held at Kolkata.

“We met Coal India officials including its chairman with the objective of discussing with them the recent Supreme Court order,” the Meghalaya CM said.

“We had a very positive discussion in which Coal India and Meghalaya government are trying to find out the most practical manner how to dispose of 32 lakh metric tons extracted coal which is there in the state,” he added.

“Keeping in mind all challenges that Coal India may face, they look at the state government playing an important role in facilitating them (Coal India) so that the most efficient way could be worked out,” Conrad Sangma said.

Sangma said based on the discussions a detailed report would be made.

The state government has been asked to come out with a report by looking at different rates of coal, conduct a survey and find out coal stocks and submit the list of coal stocks and the locations.

“On the basis of all of that, the Coal India Limited and Meghalaya government will together decide the way forward on how we should go,” he said.

“Though Coal India has been given the responsibility to dispose of the remaining extracted coal, but due to the limitations of network that Coal India has in Meghalaya, they will need to work with the state government in a very close manner,” the CM stated.

Also read: Meghalaya: Auction of extracted coal will take four months

On July 3, the Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice K.M. Joseph passed a judgment on a case related to the ban on coal mining in Meghalaya imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on April 17, 2014.

The apex court directed the Coal India Limited to auction and dispose of the remaining extracted coal in Meghalaya.

Also read: Illegal coal mining: SC directs Meghalaya govt to deposit Rs 100 cr fine

Lifting the ban on coal mining, the apex court said while implementing statutory regime for carrying out mining operations in the hills districts of Meghalaya, the state has to ensure compliance of not only the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957 but Mines Act, 1952, Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, besides Mineral Concessions Rules, 1960.

The Meghalaya government is also engaging the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI), and the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited to help prepare mining plans for the state.

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