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Govt constitutionally bound to follow Court orders: Mukul
Raju Das

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma speaking during the ongoing budget session of Meghalaya Assembly in Shillong on Wednesday. – UB Photos
 SHILLONG, March 9 - Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has said that it is the Constitutional requirement of the State Government to abide by judiciary orders while assuring all help to small miners to start export of extracted minerals.

Replying to a query during question hour on Monday, on interruption of limestone export from the State, Sangma told the Assembly that limestone export was being streamlined in accordance with a direction of the High Court.

He informed the House that the High Court has directed in 2015 to regulate mining. “In pursuance of the directions of the High Court, the Government has taken the decision to regulate mining of minor minerals including limestone which is required to facilitate both mining and export,” the CM said.

The Government has accordingly notified the Meghalaya Minor Minerals rules for granting mining lease and quarry permit, he added.

Moreover, last year, the Divisional Forest Officers (territorial) were accorded as competent authorities in their respective areas of jurisdiction to grant these mining leases and quarry permits.

For grant of Environmental Clearance in case of mining lease and quarry permit up to an area of five hectare, the Government has constituted District Environment Impact Assessment Authority and District Expert Appraisal Committee.

Additionally, the Government has constituted approval of a mining plan for minor minerals and another committee under the Director of Mineral Resources with members from the Forest and Environment department was constituted.

Miners, Sangma added, were being allowed to export extracted minerals till date who complied with the rules as set by the Government. However, process to simplify these rules is being undertaken from time to time so that small miners are not affected.

“We are concerned about small miners and their problems. But it is also the Constitutional requirement of the Government to abide by orders from the judiciary,” he stated.

To a different question the Chief Minister said, successive Governments have banned ad-hoc appointment through the 80s, but still such appointments have continued. “We have passed a notification again so that such appointments are discontinued,” he told the House.

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