Browsing Tag



Meghalaya: Skill development programmes for coal miners

More than 100 people in Meghalaya’s East and West Jaiñtia Hills districts have come forward to register themselves for skill training programmes, to help them overcome the disastrous impact on the economy following the coal mining ban in 2014.

Over five years after the ban was imposed by the National Green Tribunal and after continuous nudging from a committee appointed by it, community mobilisation drives in the two districts were carried out last month resulting in garnering of 147 candidates for skill training programmes.

East and West Jaiñtia Hills have been worst hit by the ban. Apart from the coal miners and labourers, people dependent on mining-related activities have been hit hard. From grocery shopkeepers to tea sellers, the economy in places like Lad Rymbai, Sutnga and Amlarem, among others, have been dislocated since the ban came into effect. For years now, there was very little done to alleviate the plight of those who suffered the most.

In August last year, the tribunal constituted a committee chaired by Justice (retd) B.P. Katakey to oversee the implementation of the tribunal’s orders.

The committee had also asked the state government to identify those people from the coal mining areas who would like to avail of alternative employment for which they would require skill development.

In a report submitted to the committee earlier, the state labour department had proposed imparting of training to coal mine workers in the age group of 18-35 years with a view to provide them with alternative employment.

Last month, the labour department, through the Meghalaya State Skill Development Society (MSSDS) and with the support of Aide et Action, an NGO, conducted a two-week community mobilisation drive to sensitise the public, particularly those affected by the coal mining ban, and to offer them various short-term skill training programmes.

People were enlightened about the government-sponsored skill training programmes, which could pave the way for an alternative livelihood option that can ensure sustainability.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the state government said efforts were made to reach out to the people in various areas and corners of the two districts through home visits, awareness programmes, poster campaigns and mobile announcements.

“There were a considerable number of people who participated in these awareness programmes and the total reach-out is 1,191, covering over 1,606 number of households, and around 147 candidates registered themselves for various skill training programmes,” it added.

The programmes include integrated farming, service sector trades like hospitality, security guard, general duty, assistant, fashion designing, integrated farming, pottery and other native crafts, among others.

The participants were encouraged to take advantage of the various skill programmes offered by the government.

According to official estimates, Meghalaya’s real GSDP declined in 2014 by 2.1 per cent in view of the huge forward and backward linkages mining had with other economic activities.

In 2014-15, after the first mining ban came into effect, the loss to the state exchequer was Rs 255 crore


SC directed the DGP to ensure that no mining activity takes place near Kaziranga

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a ban on mining and construction activities in Kaziranga National Park and animal corridors.

Mining activities were banned along the southern boundary of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, and construction was ordered to be stopped on the routes that form nine animal corridors.

The bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta ordered the ban on the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in its report.

The CEC report came in the wake of alleged large-scale illegal mining and stone crushing activities within the elephant corridor connecting the Kaziranga National Park and Karbi Anglong Hills.

This included the private forests falling in the Karbi Anglong Hills Council Area, and within the eco-sensitive zone.

Seeking a response from the head of the Karbi Anglong Hills Council Area on the report, and on the recommendation of the CEC, the court directed the Director General of Assam police to ensure that no mining activity takes place in the catchment area of the streams/rivers originating in the Karbi Anglong Hill ranges.

The court also directed the police to ensure that no transportation of illegally mined material from Karbi Anglong Hill took place.  Wildflowers Assam

Wildflower Assam, the group for livelihood and environment welcomes the order and thanks Rohit Chawdhury for his efforts bringing the matter to the CEC.


Meghalaya: Body of miner retrieved from coal mine handed over to family

The body of a miner retrieved from the flooded coal mine in East Jaiñtia Hills district of Meghalaya was handed over to the family on Friday morning.

The body was identified as Dimonme Dkhar the resident of Lumthari village in East Jaintia Hills district.

The body was identified by the family members of the dead miner at the morgue of Khliehriat Community Health Centre on Thursday.

East Jaiñtia Hills Deputy Commissioner, FM Dopth released a picture of the handing over the body to the mother.

Dimonme’s elder brother Melambok and his cousin brother, Shalabas Dkhar remained unknown since they were trapped inside the rat-hole coal mine at Khloo Ryngksan on December 13, 2018.

As many as 15 miners were trapped inside the coal mine, and two bodies have been recovered so far.

“We have identified the body from the clothes. He is Dimonme Dkhar,” Pressmeky Dkhar, the uncle of the Dimonme said.

The family thanked the Indian Navy and other rescue officials for making all efforts to retrieve the body of Dimonme.

“We are hopeful that they will also retrieve the bodies of Melambok, Shalabas and other trapped miners,” Pressmeky said.

The Supreme Court is monitoring the rescue operations and told the government that the trapped miners must be taken out of the coal mine whether “dead” or “alive”.

Of the 15 trapped miners, the Indian Navy divers and National Disaster Response Force have pulled out the first body of Amir Hussain from Assam’s Chirang district on January 23.

Source: First published in NE Now