Meghalaya seeks exemption from central mining laws

Shillong:The Meghalaya assembly has passed a resolution urging the central government to issue a presidential notification, repealing central laws related to mining in the state.

The move on Thursday comes after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned rat-hole coal mining in the state.

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Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who moved the resolution on the last day of the autumn session, said his government had submitted a proposal to the central government to accordingly issue a presidential notification.

The NGT ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in Meghalaya in April 2014 after the All Dimasa Students Union and the Dima Hasao District Committee filed an application before the tribunal alleging that the water in Kopili river was turning acidic due to coal mining in Jaintia Hills.

On March 23 last year, the assembly unanimously adopted a resolution urging the central government to favourably consider the request of the state government, and to issue a presidential notification.

Sangma also said that Meghalaya considered submitting a “specific proposal” to the central government to issue a presidential notification so that relevant sections and sub-sections of three central laws would not apply to the Autonomous Region (Scheduled Areas) of the state.