They were felicitated by Ka Hima Nongstoin Land Owners, Coal Traders and Producers Association in recognition of the MDA government’s role for lifting of ban on coal mining.
Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Conrad K Sangma congratulated all the stakeholders, organizations, especially the Hima Nongstoin Land owners, Coal Traders and Producers Association.
He also thanked the legal teams, and all the people who played a critical role in ensuring the positive outcome of the historic judgement, which has reinstate rights of land to its owners.
“Through the judgement of the Supreme Court the rights of the tribal has been restored,” he said.
He further said that the judgement has recognized the rights of the tribal which will be remembered for generations to come.
On July 3 last, the Supreme Court has revoked the NGT ban on coal mining.
“A lot of people don’t understand the gravity or the intensity of this order,” Conrad further said.
He added that the order goes way beyond coal industry or it goes beyond the mineral rights that ‘we might have’.
“It goes to the whole level of telling the whole nation that our rights are unique, our people are unique and the traditional laws that we’ve had must be recognized,” he added.
The rights of the tribal people living in Meghalaya must be recognized, the chief minister also asserted.
Castigating the previous government for doing very little to challenge the NGT ban, the chief minister said, “The Opposition tried to mislead and take advantage of the collective effort of MDA and all the stakeholders.”
“It is sad that we had to wait for five long years to settle the matter that has affected a lot of people, who are dependent on coal mining and its subsidiary activities,” Conrad added.