Owner's mine

Regulating mining in Meghalaya is tricky. Since Meghalaya is a Sixth Schedule state, the state government and the mining department do not have a direct control over its mineral resources; it is the tribal people who own the land. Meghalaya is the only state in India where coal mining is done privately by mine owners, who use cheap methods to take out coal. In other states anyone interested in mining coal in an area has to obtain a mining lease from the state government under the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Besides, the centre has marked coal mines of Meghalaya as small-scale mines. This means they do not have to abide by the environmental and safety norms laid down by the Coal Mines Act, 1973.