Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, along with Advocate General Amit Kumar, has met Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss about coal mining in the state. Chief Minister and Advocate General had also held a discussion with the officials in the Ministry of Coal such as Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary and the ministry has asked the state government to work on different modalities. A team from the ministry would also be visiting Meghalaya soon.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had met the ministry officials to discuss about the operational coal mining in the state keeping in mind the balance between economy and environment. He had setup a group of ministers to study the ban on coal mining in the state. Coal mining is unique and an important source of livelihood for many people in the state as miners, traders and transporters. According to some estimates, the ban has cost the state exchequer a loss of about Rs. 600 crore.
An interim ban was imposed on April 17, 2014, on the illegal rat-hole mining in the state by NGT on a petition by All Dimasa Students’ Union and the Dima Hasao District Committee. The commercial rat-hole mining in Meghalaya started in 1980s.