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Sangma meets Goyal, discusses coal mining ban issue

 SHILLONG, Apr 15 (PTI): Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today met Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi and discussed the coal mining ban that has hit the northeastern state hard for the past four years.

Goyal assured that he would look into the grievance of the coal miners, the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement here.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned mining of coal in Meghalaya in 2014 after it received petitions on rampant violation of environment norms and utter disregard for safety measures by miners.

The Union minister has assured finding an early solution to the problem, Sangma was quoted as saying in the statement.

"Coal mining is important for the state and the region. It is important that a balance is struck considering the fragile environment. We discussed on ways to initiate coal mining in the state. Sangma said.

Sangma said Goyal has given a positive response to the suggestions and ideas put forward by him and his cabinet colleagues.

Sangma along with PWD Minister Prestone Tynsong, Tourism Minister Metbah Lyngdoh and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, called on Goyal at his office today.

Sangma is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

Last week, the state cabinet had decided to pursue a resolution passed by the state Assembly to urge Centre s intervention for resolving the ban on coal mining in the state.

In 2015, the Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution to urge the Centre to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule through a Presidential notification to exempt Meghalaya from the central laws related to mining which include the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, and the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act.

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