95 arrested, 250 cases filed so far over illegal coal mining: Meghalaya CM

Shillong, Mar 15 (PTI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday said 95 persons have been arrested and 250 cases registered so far over illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state.

Speaking during the question hour in the assembly, the chief minister said the state government will not allow illegal activities such as mining and transportation of coal.

“Ninety-five arrests have been made so far. We have registered 250 cases and 146 people have been charge-sheeted,” Sangma said, replying to a question.

“All actions are being taken to ensure that all illegal mining and transportation are acted upon. The government will never allow any illegal activity mining or transportation,” he added.

The National Green Tribunal banned coal mining in the state in 2014, making it illegal.

According to the chief minister, cases of illegal mining are being registered under section 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Officers have been empowered to seize minerals that have been mined and transported unlawfully along with vehicles, tools and equipment, Sangma said.

Deputy commissioners and superintendents of police have been instructed to control illegal coal mining and enforce the ban imposed by the NGT, he said.