SHILLONG, September 15: The Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K.Sangma said that the Government works hard to stop illegal mining and trade of coal, apart from punishing those involved by booking them under the IPC and MMDR Act.
He said that the District Administrations are also trying to prevent illegal trade and transportation of coal by inspecting areas from time to time and also by using drone cameras. He said that till August about 1652 cases have been registered due to illegal coal trade and of these, 1354 have been chargesheeted and 472 have been convicted.
With regards to illegal mining of coal, he said that 199 cases have been registered, 108 have been chargesheeted and 23 have been convicted.
The Chief Minister said that from the Government’s side it has taken all the steps whenever information is received of any incident and illegal trade of coal.
Prior to this, the MLA of Mawlai constituency, Process T.Sawkmie in the call of attention in the Autumn Session over the deaths of coal mine labourers said that coal mining as per the regulations stipulated by the NGT and the Supreme Court is only for the well-funded people, whereas the small scale coal miners cannot meet the stipulated regulations because it requires a lot of financial investment, and they also have to follow the complicated regulations.
The suspended MLA of the Congress has urged the Government to peruse the regulations permitting coal mining again to ease a few of the conditions so that other small scale coal miners may also have a chance to legally carry on the work.