SHILLONG, Sept 20 � Stakeholders in the coal-mining industry of Meghalaya have called an indefinite �economic strike� from September 23, stating that the State Government has not addressed its demands.
The economic strike has been called by an organisation called � Movement for Indigenous Peoples� Rights and Livelihood (MIPRL).
The MIPRL has urged all transporters of goods � petroleum, limestone, timber, cement, clinker and coal and passenger transporters, trade unions, associations and government employees, banks and financial institutions to join the strike.
MIPRL vice chairman Erwin K Syiem Sutnga said that private and small commercial vehicles have been kept outside the purview of the strike, adding schools, colleges, offices, markets and traders of sand, stone and chips are free to conduct their normal work.
He further gave a call for a �non-violent and democratic protest� and not to affect the movement of essential and emergency services in the State.
The economic strike has been called after issues relating to royalty from coal transportation have become a bone of contention between the State Government and the coal-miners-owners.
The royalty was fixed by a National Green Tribunal-constituted Committee, which has also set several guidelines for transportation of extracted coal after the NGT banned coal mining in the State on April 17. The guidelines were approved by the NGT.
MIPRL had submitted ten demands to the government and most importantly sought intervention of the government on the royalty imposed on coal, but the government has so far not responded to the demands.
The MIPRL claims that the government have assured that it would appeal against the guidelines before the Tribunal, but failed to do so and therefore the guidelines have been imposed on the stakeholders of the coal-mining industry. Sutgna has reiterated that due to the ban and subsequent imposition of royalty on coal transportation, �lakhs of people� have been affected in the State.