The BJP today slammed the Congress-led government's 'failure' to come up with a plan for restoring coal mining in Meghalaya in three years and vowed to find a comprehensive solution within eight months, if elected to power in 2018 assembly election. "If voted to power, we are making a commitment to work with all the stakeholders including environmentalists and come to a comprehensive solution in consultation with the Centre," BJP national spokesman Nalin Kohli told reporters here. The comprehensive solution would be found within a span of six to eight months, Kohli said. His statement came as a reaction to the state government's proposal to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to allow the Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation (MMDC) to take up mining activities in the state as per provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. An affidavit on this proposal was filed on August 10, by the state government before the NGT, which had imposed a blanket ban on unscientific coal mining in April 2014. The state government's proposal to allow the MMDC to take up mining activities was opposed by the mining community during a meeting chaired by the chief minister Mukul Sangma on April 4 this year. Kohli said that instead of looking at the issue from a scientific point of view and submitting a mining plan which the NGT has been asking, the state government is saying it would like the MMDC to start mining when elections are just six months away. Pointing out the land tenure system in Meghalaya where mining land belongs to the people, he asked how a government agency like MMDC can start mining without participation of the community and stakeholders. He alleged that the Congress government is trying to fool the people before the election.
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