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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Scientific coal mining in state may start this year, says CM Sangma

The state may witness scientific coal mining within this year if all goes well.

SHILLONG: 

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed the state assembly during Question Hour on Wednesday that the government was hopeful that some of those who have applied for prospecting licence for coal and have received the Centre’s approval will also start getting approval for the mining plan and they should be able to start mining soon.

“But there is paper work and multiple agencies are involved,” the chief minister said

He informed that there were 17 applicants who submitted their applications for grant of prospecting licence for coal. He said that all have received approval of the central government and they are now in the exploration stage for generating geological report before obtaining mining leases.

According to the chief minister, the scientific process and the guidelines that have been laid down require a minimum 100 hectares to be able to apply for prospecting licence.

Sangma also said that there has to be a non-forest certificate that has to be taken from the state government and after that is done the applicant will have to get the land documents, the map and then submit a fee of Rs 5000 to the Secretary of Mining government of Meghalaya.

The chief minister said that once this is done the government will verify it and forward to the Ministry of Coal.

Once the Ministry of Coal receives it then they approve the prospecting licence and communicate back to the state government and it then allows the individual to go ahead and do the exploration.

He also said that once the explorations are done then a report is prepared and once again they apply for a mining lease through the state government to the Coal Ministry following which the Centre after going through the exploration report will then approve the mining lease.

Sangma said that in the third step the applicant prepares a mining plan and once it is made the state government again sends it to the Ministry of Coal which then sends it to Central Mines Planning Development Institute in Dhanbad for vetting and approval.

He also said that if the mining area is less than 150 hectares the state government can give the environment clearance and if it is above 150 hectares then the Centre’s nod is required.

The chief minister told the House that in terms of royalty that is collected there are four parts to it – the first part is the royalty which is Rs 675 per MT, cess of Rs 300 per MT, District Mineral Fund which is 10 per cent of the royalty and  the National Mineral Exploration Trust which is two per cent of the royalty.

Sangma said that the revenue of the state is from royalty (Rs 675 per MT), cess (Rs 300 per MT) the total of which is multiplied by the number of metric tons that will be extracted and sold.

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