SHILLONG, May 20 � Union Minister for Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar today said the ban on coal mining imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Meghalaya has to be accepted as the ruling was given to protect the environment.
During his visit here, Tomar said that the Union Government was aware of the NGT�s ruling, but as it was given for the larger good of the environment, it has to be accepted as the protection of the environment is one of the first priorities of the Government.
The NGT banned coal mining last year for violating environmental norms. The Tribunal, however, allowed the transportation of the coal that was extracted prior to the ban.
Tomar said the State Government can put forward its grievances before the Tribunal for consideration. The State Government has been stating that the ban on coal mining has affected the State exchequer.
The Union Minister was here as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s direction that Union Ministers must tour the region to hear grievances. The Union Minister said that the NDA Government is committed to bring the Northeastern region at par with the rest of the country in all realms of development.
He added that the Central and State Governments will work together to bring about progress and prosperity in the State through interventions in areas such as mineral exploration.