A youth activist from East Jaiñtia Hills has lambasted the MDA government for the continued mining and transportation of coal by a section of coal barons known locally as “high levels”.
Regeenal Shylla, a youth from Moolang village, alleged that the present government was allowing “high levels” to openly mine and transport illegal coal while the “low level” ones had to watch in agony.
“Since the MDA coalition came into power in Meghalaya, there has been discrimination between high levels and low levels as far as mining and transportation of coal is concerned. Since the high levels have close links with the government they are freely allowed to carry out coal trade whereas the low levels are staying home as they were not permitted to mine or transport coal in East Jaiñtia Hills,” Shylla said.
“The poor and the youth of the district wanted clarification from the government on this discrimination between the high levels and the low levels. Is the government only for the high levels?” he asked.
Shylla said that during the previous Congress government, opportunities were given for mining of coal for at least six months in a year which has provided livelihood for poor people engaged in coal mining in East Jaiñtia Hills.
“Now the poor labourers are saying that only the rich and those having links with the government are getting permission to mine and transport coal. The poor labourers are forced into starvation as they are not part of the high levels,” he said.
Shylla said that due to this discrimination by the MDA government since 2019, entrepreneurs who have ventured into coal mining have suffered.
“It’s time to stop this discrimination. The MDA government should prove that it is serving not only for the high levels but for all the people of the State, especially the poor,” Shylla concluded.