President of Jaintia Hills Public Coal Miners, Dealers and Suppliers association Reginald Shylla claimed that only a few high-ups are benefitting from coal mining.
Speaking to reporters on January 24, he said, “I earn my livelihood from coal mining and I have noticed that only 10 per cent get benefit from coal mining while 90 per cent struggle for their livelihood. These 10 per cent are what we call the high level and these are the people who have close contacts with the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance.”
He was unhappy at the notification of the mining and geology department which mentions that an application for prospecting license shall be for an area of not less than 100 hectares.
According to him, such an area is not possible in a hill state like Meghalaya.
Alleging that NPP’s scientific coal mining is only meant to beguile the public, he said, “The government is happy with the high-level deal as through illegal means they will be able to collect money from them.”
Shylla recalled that there was a time when he encountered an issue with two pressure groups, which he does not want to name, and alleged that they collected Rs 2000 from each truck at Bhoirymbong in Ri Bhoi district.
Criticising the pressure groups for their so-called mission to protect the community, he said that they caught hold of his truck and started demanding money although he has paid the amount at entry.