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After Meghalaya's Claims of 32 Lakh Metric Ton Coal, NGT Seeks Details of Mine Owner, Location, Stock

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government filed communication urging the committee to give them a month’s time for formulation of policy for the disposal of coal to which the NGT panel agreed.

Purbasha Bhattacharjee | News18.com

Updated:July 24, 2019, 12:31 PM IST
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After Meghalaya's Claims of 32 Lakh Metric Ton Coal, NGT Seeks Details of Mine Owner, Location, Stock
Representative image: Reuters
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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Meghalaya government to furnish details on its claim that the state has over 32 lakh metric ton of coal. A three-member committee headed by retired JUstice BP Katakey has asked for the name of the mine owners, location of depots and the stock available, from the state government, which is currently in talks with Coal India over auctioning of the resource.

“In the Supreme Court an affidavit dated April 19, 2019 was filed by commissioner and secretary in charge of mining and geology, where they said that around 32 lakh metric ton already extracted coal is available for auction or disposal. We have directed the government to make available to us the quantities of coal which they have stated before the Supreme Court, the names of the coal mine owners and also the place where the coal depots are located,” said retired Justice BP Katakey.

He further said that this will help to keep all the information online. It may be noted that Katakey had visited coal mines in Jaintia hills last year and said there are over 24,000 mines in the region alone.

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government filed communication urging the committee to give them a month’s time for formulation of policy for the disposal of coal to which the NGT panel agreed.

“Meghalaya government today filed one communication address to the committee stating they would require atleast a month’s time for policy decision to formulate a policy related to auction of coal, transportation and all related matters as directed by the Supreme Court and we have granted the time till August 14 to submit a progress report,” Katakey said.

The NGT panel will hold its next meeting on August 14 in Shillong, where the government has been asked to give its progress report on policy formulation.

Speaking about alternative ways of mining, he said, the NGT panel has asked the government to furnish its decision on the scientific method of high wall mining in the next meeting.

“Infact a group of ministers visited the USA to explore the possibility of high wall mining and the committee submitted its report. We have asked the government to get back to us with their decision in the next meeting and we have to make certain recommendations to the NGT on whether alternative mode of mining is possible,” he said.

Katakey further informed that the committee has also directed the commissioner and secretary in charge of mining and geology to submit a report indicating the decision taken by the state government on the report of the Meghalaya Minerals Development Corporation (MMDC).

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