Nongstoin: The recent news of coal mining ban lifted has brought cheers to the people in the state and heap of praise to the present government. But Shillong Lok Sabha MP Ma Vincent H. Pala warns people to not be overexcited for there are still many complicated steps to keep in place before actual freedom becomes reality. The MP says this in the Rajiv Gandhi birth anniversary function at Nongstoin. His words of caution is backed by a point by point explanation.
First, till now the mining policy is yet to come out. Second, the interpretation of the Court’s order by the state government is still pending. Third, the MDA government is yet to give a clear picture of geographical information system what would be the master plan of mining lease for the coal in government land as well as private land. Fourth, there is a hurdle in conducting survey in private owned areas.
In relation to the MMDR Act the state government is yet to win the fight that Meghalaya be excluded from it so that the license giving right will be solely upon the state and the District Councils. Regarding the exctracted coal lying during the ban period the government will auction and the sale proceeds will be shared 10% a ton to the DMR, 20% to the place allotted by the government and 10% as Royalty. The remaining 50% will be given by the government to the owner. So, there is a long and complicated way to go.
It may be noted that the Conrad government was hilarious at the Court order of lifting the ban. Congress too made counter claims that it was the one going the ground work that deserves credit. Pala reminds that BJP fought election on this issue but as it is now it failed to deliver its promises to the people.
Therefore, he warns the people not to be overexcited for the ban is still in place as long as the above mentioned points are not resolved. He also urged the people that the fight began with the Mukul Sangma led government, the participation by the local coal owners and traders association HNLOCTPA which is followed up by the current government. No one should claim sole credit over the issue.
From what the MP said, it is clear that the coal ban is lifted but only in principle until all the requirements are fulfilled and the current state government is responsible for that.