SC order revoking NGT ban on coal mining should be seen holistically: Meghalaya CM
With Supreme Court revoking National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on coal mining last month, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma said the order goes way beyond coal industry or it goes beyond the mineral rights that we might have.
Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, Tourism Minister Metbah Lyngdoh and MLAs from West Khasi Hills were felicitated by Ka Hima Nongstoin Land Owners, Coal Traders and Producers Association in recognition of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government’s role for lifting of ban on Coal Mining.
Speaking on the occasion Sangma said, “It goes to the whole level of telling the whole nation that our rights are unique, our people are unique and the traditional laws that we've had must be recognized”.
He said,“Through the judgement of the Supreme Court the rights of the tribal has been restored. The judgement has recognized the rights of the tribal which will be remembered for generations to come, A lot of people don’t u .. understand the gravity or the intensity of this order”.
Castigating the previous government for doing very little to challenge the NGT ban, the Chief Minister said, “The Opposition tried to mislead and take advantage of the collective effort of MDA and all the Stakeholders. It is sad that we had to wait for five long years to settle the matter that has affected a lot of people, who are dependent on coal mining and its subsidiary activities.”
The Chief Minister said that the judgment was late but was befitting as it has finally given recognition to the tribal rights over the land, the soil and the sub-soil. “As a government now we have to ensure that mining is streamlined with proper measures followed for safety and environmental concerns. We have fought this for a long time but our work has to continue. Because of the different issues there was complete complexity and confusion in the issue today this order has been able to give a structure to the confusion that we had,” he stated.