Scientific mining of coal is all set to start in Meghalaya as the Center has approved the mining leases to four miners.
"I am happy to inform you that about a week or 10 days back, the Government of India has approved the mining leases to four miners. Hence, we have overcome the largest hurdles that we had for the process of scientific mining and legal mining to start in the state," Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said,
"Therefore, now once we have the public hearing and the forest clearance and mining plan approved which are procedural aspects, which we would expect anything between 20-45 days these approvals will be done then the green signals for starting of scientific mining is through and hence this is major steps where we will finally see and move towards the aspects of scientific mining.
"Of course, the actual implementation will have to be done then by the respective miners on the technology to be implemented as per the mining plan but my point is that the moment the lease was given, that is very important step as after that as I said we have crossed the most difficult hurdles and now we are on our way to see the process of scientific and legal mining started in our state."
The chief minister said there is now clarity as to where the state is heading.
"At least we are going to see the legal mining start. Before this, though we knew we were moving in this direction but we didn't know when and how it would happen but now it is clear. Now from here onwards we have to ensure that we keep improving on those provisions, we keep improving, we keep expanding, we give more and more people licenses and mining leases. That we will be able to expand to ensure we get as many as people on board so that once again we will see the mining sector grow the way it was before the NGT ban," he added.
Meanwhile, the chief minister and other ministers of the MDA government will also be felicitated by miners at Nongstoin this week.
"The miners who received the mining lease have invited us to a small programme where they would like to felicitate myself and other ministers of the government in a way to showcase their gratitude towards the efforts that were made by the government in ensuring that we reach this point," he added.