Shillong, Feb 15 (IANS) Wooing coal miners to vote for the BJP in the upcoming Meghalaya Assembly polls, the BJP on Thursday promised to resume mining in the state, if voted to power.
In its Vision Document released by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the BJP promised to put back on track the coal mining issue in 180 days of forming the government.
Coal mining in Meghalaya is ostensibly part of the “customary tribal rights” that has been temporarily banned by the National Green Tribunal in the state from April 17, 2014, after tribal Dimasa groups filed an application before it alleging that the water of the Kopili river was turning acidic due to coal mining in Jaintia Hills.
“We as a party have always said that mining must be done, without degrading the environment. In the case of Meghalaya, the state government has not just addressed the issue, it ignored the issue, and it allowed it to go out of hand,” said BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli.
He also accused the Mukul Sangma-led government of showing its lack of seriousness and commitment to resolve the mining issue.
In the document, the BJP also highlighted its promise to promote mining of mineral resources with a sense of responsibility towards the protection of the environment and regeneration of forests.
Promising to promote the setting up of small scale industries such as leather, food processing, fruit processing, the BJP also proposed to simplify rules for local entrepreneurs for setting up industries in the state.