Union Minister Joshi pushes for coal exploration in Northeast India, announces financial help
Dimapur, Oct. 31(EMN): Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi, on Monday announced that INR 5 crore would be release to Nagaland and other north-eastern states for carrying out coal exploration and to strengthen the department.
He stated this during the 1st Northeast Geology and Mining Ministers’ Conclave held at Niathu Resort in Chümoukedima.
While assuring to pay the amount in advance to all the NE states following submission of a proposal, he urged for ‘good performance and results’ from the states. He added that more financial assistance would be provided if a state submits reports of exploration and needs more funds.
He also asked the Nagaland government to take the local people into confidence, acquire land and start exploration activities as the power requirement is going to double by 2040; while 50% will be sustainable, the other half will be unsustainable.
‘We have to start from somewhere, and therefore try to engage the people and ultimately mining will benefit the people,’ he said.
‘NE region has got great potential and there should be huge growth in the region in the coming years,’ he said while urging the ministers to take keen interest in research and exploration.
Joshi said the Centre is keenly examining the environmental implications of coal and oil exploration while also ensuring that the rich mineral resources are properly exploited for the benefit of the region.
‘Geological Survey of India (GSI) is focusing on completing the National Baseline Geoscience Data Generation programme in the country and has increased focus on exploration of critical minerals in the NE region,’ he added.
Joshi reiterated that the NE region has been accorded top priority for development under the Prime Minister’s agenda of transforming India, and it is the focus point of India’s ‘Act East Policy’.
GSI has taken up 108 projects in NER on different mineral commodities during the last five years and 23 mineral exploration projects on various commodities in current field season 2022-23, he stated.
Assuring the region of complete support, he stated that the Ministry through GSI and Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) can organise training programmes at Shillong or GSITI for the geologists and other functionaries in the NE for capacity building.
However, he expressed concern regarding the auctioning process in the NE region and urged the state governments to resolve the issues pertaining to it in the different north-eastern states. He added that the establishment of resources and their successful auction will bring economic prosperity through revenue augmentation, employment generation, industry influx which will further lead to overall growth and development of the NER.