Shillong, July 31 :
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invoke a provision of the Sixth Schedule so that central laws relating to mining are repealed following the National Green Tribunal’s ban on rat-hole coal mining in the state.
“Invoke paragraph 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule so that application of central laws relating to mining may be rescinded through a presidential notification. Thereafter, the state legislature shall make appropriate legislation to regulate mining in the state in accordance with the Meghalaya Mines and Minerals Policy, 2012,” Sangma said in a letter to Modi.
He, however, said central laws relating to environment, forest, child labour and others should continue to apply.
Sangma suggested modification of certain provisions of central mining-related statutes such as the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 to allow Meghalaya to grant license or mining lease with respect to coal, given the small size of deposits and mines being operated.
He also suggested that other regulations on safety of operations, environmental management plans, forest clearance and restrictions on child labour should be strictly enforced by the authorities.
The National Green Tribunal June 9 refused to revoke its April 17 interim order banning rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya, but allowed transportation of extracted coal kept in the open.
The tribunal’s special circuit bench, eastern zone, comprising chairperson Justice (retd) Swatanter Kumar and expert member Ranjan Chatterjee also directed the Meghalaya government to seal all coal mines across the state.