Itanagar, Jan 30: Coal mining at the Namchik-Namphuk coal block in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh has been suspended since May 2012 after the directions of the Centre following involvement of insurgent groups in the extraction process, the state Assembly was informed today.
Responding to a question by senior BJP MLA Japu Deru, state geology and mining minister Kamlung Mosang state coal extraction was started in March 2007 by the National Mining Company Ltd of Tinsukia in Assam on the basis of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) through an open tender for extraction of two lakh metric tonnes coal annually.
"Though 133.62 hectares of area was permitted, but extraction was done only in 39.04 hectares inside the reserve forest areas and a quantity of 10,73,00 MT in 62 months before being suspended," Mosang said. The company was awarded the contract for a period of five years, which was later extended to another two years according to provisions of the MoA, he said.
During the period, the earned a revenue of 18 crore, the minister told the Assembly. "I along with Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had approached the union Coal Ministry pleading for permitting the state government to extract the balance 20 lakh MT coal as per the MoA," he added. The Centre had suspended mining operations in the coal field after reports of involvement of both factions of the NSCN in illegal coal extraction.