Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed that the state government would soon come up with procedures for environmental-friendly and scientific mining shortly.
To a query as to when legal mining will start in the state, Conrad said, “One has to understand that the land and ownership of coal has been given to the landowner.”
“It is the landowners, who have to speak now to consultants, prepare their mining plans and apply through the state government to the Central government to get approval for their mining plan,” he added.
“Therefore, the onus now lies on the coal miners,” he added.
Sangma informed that the state government can guide them and take them to the consultants and can prepare a rough procedure of environment-friendly mining plan.
“But every mine is unique as it has got different topography, different aspect, different nature and all those things have to be taken into consideration,” Sangma added.
“Every miner or landowner will have to go through their own process to do that, but what we have done as a government was, we have started sensitizing the people in over 4 to 5 districts,” he said.
“We have also identified consultants who will guide them,” Sangma added.
“Thirdly, we are preparing a draft for scientific mining which is again not copy-paste as it has to be modified and adjusted according to the specific needs of the miners,” he further said.
Sangma also informed that three parties have applied and it is expected that 15 more will come forward as this is a scientific process, which requires technical expertise.
“We hope things will move fast and if all goes well, then the Central government should give permission for the mining plan at the earliest,” Sangma said.
“We hope very soon mining will start, but it will depend on the Centre’s approval on how well the plan is prepared,” he added.