Ban on coal mining ops in Namchik-Namphuk coalfields demanded

ITANAGAR, Jul 12: Demanding ban on coal mining operations in the Namchik-Namphuk coalfields in Changlang district through the Arunachal Pradesh Mineral Development & Trading Corporation Ltd (APMDTCL), the Arunachal Anti-Corruption Sena Anna Samarthak has urged the state government to roll back the decision.
In a letter to the chief minister, the organisation on Thursday claimed that the resumption of coal mining would “pose a security threat to the nation as well as the state.”
“No doubt the resumption of coal mining would bring some increase in the state revenue, but this increase of revenue cannot and should not be equated with the potential security threat that the whole region would be affected by, as it would boost the coffers of the ultras active in the areas. It is pertinent to recall that the coalfields, which were allotted to the APMDTCL during 2003 by the union coal ministry, had to be suspended in 2012 due to the intervention of the home ministry, based on reports of these coalfields contributing to the coffers of UG groups like the ULFA, the NSCN and the NDFB in the area,” the union said.
It also alleged that the “organizational incompetence and unpreparedness of the APMDTCL” were some of the main reasons for “empowering financial boost to the ultras.”
“The APMDTCL had failed to contain the leakages of coal marketing in the outside market, which resulted in illegal mining by private coal mafias in the area. Those private coal mafias operate illegal mining in connivance with the ultras, which result in huge flows of illegal coal marketing outside the official designated auctioning authority. The APMDTCL simply had to let loose in favour of the third party, a Tinsukia (Assam)-based private company, the National Mining Company Ltd, to operate everything in the Namphuk-Namchik coalfields. This was a blatant violation of National Coal Mining Act, which bars third party selling of coals in the market,” it said.
It further said that civil societies in the state as well as the national level, along with villagers in Namphuk and Namchik areas, have been raising serious issues of health and environmental hazards caused by irrational mining in the Namphuk-Namchik coalfields.
“So far the state government has not initiated any systematic health and environmental managements to secure the health and environment issues which should enable the operation of open mining in the Nampuk-Namchik coalfields,” the union said.