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Scientific coal mining by this year: Meghalaya CM

The state has been suffering in terms of revenue generation due to the ongoing ban on unscientific rat-hole coal mining imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in April 2014.

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Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday said scientific mining of coal in the State is expected to begin later this year, even as he expressed hope that it would lead to inflow of revenue to the exchequer.

The state has been suffering in terms of revenue generation due to the ongoing ban on unscientific rat-hole coal mining imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in April 2014. Illegal and unscientific coal mining had led to several cases of fatality in the rat-hole coal mines in the state, even in the recent past.

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“Hope, scientific mining will start shortly and revenue flow will come in,” Sangma said in reply to a query raised by Congress legislator Mayralborn Syiem on how the State intended to raise its own tax revenue through scientific coal mining. “

The process is moving very fast and we are getting a lot of support from the ministry of coal. Some activity regarding scientific coal mining was expected to start in another six to eight months time in the State,” the Chief Minister told the Assembly.

He also informed that the State government has already issued SOP and has trained mine owners on aspects of scientific coal mining. “Hope to get maximum revenue with these steps taken,” he said.

To raise the State’s own tax revenue through scientific coal mining, the Chief Minister said the State government, after Supreme Court’s order and judgement on July 3, 2019 allowing coal mining in the State in compliance of the MMDR Act, 1957 and Chapter-V of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 has notified Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the grant of prospecting license or mining lease for sustainable and scientific coal mining in the state.

“At present, there are 17 applicants who have submitted their applications for grant of prospecting license for coal and all have received approval of the Central Government and they are now in the exploration stage for generating Geological Report before obtaining mining leases,” Sangma said. 

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