Rat-hole mining ban for long not acceptable: MP

Shillong,Sept 1: Rajya Sabha member WR Kharlukhi said on Friday that the ban on rat-hole mining is not acceptable as it has been a means of livelihood for the people of Jaintia Hills.

Speaking to reporters, Kharlukhi said, “My stand throughout is clear, I have been saying that coal for the people of Jaintia Hills is livelihood and it is enshrined as fundamental rights and denying coal mining for my people from my district which we have been practicing for nearly four decades is like denying food for our people. How much it has affected our people over there”, he said.


According to Kharlukhi, mining has been going on for long. “The people have been doing this, then one fine day you realise when my people are poor you don’t realise but when they have become rich you realise that it’s illegal”, Kharlukhi said.

He also criticised educated people calling those who engage in coal mining as coal barons or mafia.

MP questions NGT 

He also criticised the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for banning coal mining in Meghalaya and not taking action on the Delhi air pollution.

“We have pollution in Delhi. NGT is in Delhi. I have raised a question: it was not only disease related, it was death related. I am not talking about fish or animals, I am talking about human beings why nothing was done. Something should be done there also and NGT is in Delhi,” Kharlukhi said.

He added, “I never say they NGT and Supreme Court) are wrong in banning coal mining in Meghalaya but what I say is that yes you are doing here, you should also do it there.”

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