Shillong, May 03: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today said that the State government has identified and proposed the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Limited (MMDC) as the State corporation for carrying out mining in the state as per the amended Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 2015.
The Chief Minister informed this during a consultative meeting on coal mining in the state organized by the Mining and Geology department today at State Convention Centre attended by coal miners and representatives of coal associations from across the state.
Speaking at the meeting, Mukul, who is also in-charge Mining and Geology said that many have been affected after the ban on coal mining, and pointed out that since mining has gone beyond small scale activities, there is a need to have appropriate policy to regulate mining in conformity with various statutory laws of the land.
The Chief Minister also informed that in order to restore mining rights of the people, the State Government has also moved for exemption of Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act 1973 and certain provision of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 1975 by invoking Para 12(A) (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.
He also informed that as per the provisions of Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act 1973, local coal mine operators are not eligible to undertake mining activities except subleasing from the government company/corporation.
He however said that nder Section 11 A(3) (a) of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 1975, the allocation of the coal block to the State Govt company or corporation can be done without going through the auction process.
In view of advice of the Central government, the Meghalaya government has identified and proposed MMDC Ltd as the State corporation for carrying out mining in the state as per the amended MMDR Act , 2015, he said.
Mukul also said that the Department of Mining & Geology is pursuing the matter for preparation of the specific mining plans as required by NGT with the CMPDIL.
“The way forward depends on the will and cooperation of the mine owners,” the Chief Minister said as he appealed to the mining community and coal bearing land owners to earnestly examine the intention of the government and come forward with an open mind to enable coal mining activity to resume in the State which will benefit all with due care for future generations.
The MMDC Ltd also made a power point presentation on Approaches to Coal Mining where the roles, responsibilities of MMDC Ltd and models of operation were highlighted.