Meghalaya CM pushes for regulated coal mining

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Friday sought regulated mining with “utmost care on safety of miners and environment” to help the State tide over revenue loss and provide relief to people dependent on coal. “There is a need to have regulated mining in Meghalaya with utmost care on safety of miners and environment. The ban on mining has affected the socio-economic condition of the people who are dependent on coal as well as loss of revenue generation for the State,” Mr. Sangma told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. The Chief Minister had called on Mr. Singh along with senior leaders of parties in his coalition government and officials from Meghalaya’s Department of Mining. ‘Tweak rules’ State Mining Secretary C. Manjunath underscored how the ban on mining was affecting livelihood and pressed for tweaking provisions of rules governing mining in Meghalaya, a State covered by the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Search halted Meanwhile, the agencies engaged in the search and rescue operation at the coalmine where 15 miners have been trapped since December 13 are awaiting a decision from the local authorities on retrieving a body detected by an underwater Navy robot on Wednesday night. Efforts to pull the body up mechanically failed as it had decomposed. A few skeletons were detected in the rat-hole mine at Ksan in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district. The search operation was halted on Friday since the district magistrate, doctor, forensics expert and the families have to be present to go ahead, a Navy spokesperson said.

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