SHILLONG, June 11 � The 24-hour bandh called from last evening by the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to ban rat-hole coal mining in the State, paralysed normal live in the State capital and other parts of Khasi-Jaintia Hills.
Schools, colleges, financial establishments, central government offices and business houses remained non-functional. In the State Government offices there was skeletal staff presence. Although some taxis and State-run public transportation were seen plying on the streets here.
The coal-rich districts of Jaintia Hills which have been the worst affected by the ban on coal mining remained totally closed with shops, schools, colleges, financial institutions remaining closed. Offices too remained paralysed.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the Government is taking all steps to comply with the NGT�s order on rat-hole coal mining and address environmental concerns and violation of statutory rules.
Replying to budget discussions in the Assembly, Sangma said that the Government is setting in place a policy in which all concerns raised by the NGT has been noted and would be addressed.
As part of this policy, the abandoned mines could be reclaimed so that these areas could be made habitable and conducive for farming once again. He said that once these lands are reclaimed it would be handed over to the people after some formalities.
Seeking the cooperation of the Coal Miners� Associations from the State and also the legislators, Sangma added that the government has taken the responsibility �to handle the situation� arising out of the coal mining ban as ordered by the NGT. The NGT in its June 9 hearing here has extended the ban on rat-hole coal mining till August 1, until its next hearing, but allowed the already extracted coal to be traded.