Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma hailed the Supreme Court verdict on Wednesday, saying that it has “set aside” the ban on coal mining by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) even as activists said the SC order has put a stop to “unscientific, environmentally destructive coal mining” processes in the state.
“The official judgment has not come out as yet but the basic gist of what we have been made to understand is that the ban that was put in by the NGT has been set aside by the SC,” said Sangma, adding that tribal rights have been recognised. “The fact that SC has come out with a judgment which states the land and resources are of the owners is landmark and historic as it gives back the entire ownership to the people. This is the biggest victory, and biggest aspect of the judgment as a whole,” he said.
Meghalaya, he said, must now ensure that mining is proper, scientific and systematic by adhering to rules while giving utmost concern to environmental aspect.