The State government has notified the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for transportation of coal and other minerals from outside the State to Bangladesh via Meghalaya as laid down under the Meghalaya Mineral (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage) Rules, 2022.
As per the SOP, the person having possession of the minerals from outside Meghalaya and desiring to transport to Meghalaya and through Meghalaya to Bangladesh have to apply to the Secretary, Mining & Geology Department through the Director of Mineral Resources as per the format set by the department.
After the approval of the application, the applicant would have to comply with the terms and conditions in the approval accorded by the Secretary, Mining & Geology Department in transportation of coal and other minerals.
The government will notify the designated entry check-gates for minerals entering the State from outside. Initially, Dainadubi, Umling and Ratacherra DMR check-gates will be notified for the purpose. However, more entry check gates may be notified by the government, if necessity arises. Only the notified designated entry check-gates would be allowed for entry of minerals from outside the State.
The persons who are allowed to transport mineral from outside the States to Meghalaya and through Meghalaya to Bangladesh shall on entry produce the approval from Mining & Geology Department and documentary evidence on the source of minerals like mineral transport challan, certificate of origin/tax invoice, delivery order and e-way bill if mineral is from other states and Coal India Limited auction and tax invoice, e-way bills and custom clearance or certificate of origin if minerals is imported from other countries.
“The officer in-charge of DMR check-gate at entry point shall verify the documents, check the consignment and place his signature and stamp on the documents and maintain separate records on the matter,” the SOP said.
For minerals landing in Meghalaya, prior notice to the competent authority or Director of Mineral Resources has to be given for cross-checking the landing minerals and verification of documents for which the Director of Mineral Resources shall assign the personnel or official for verification purpose.
“For minerals en-route to Bangladesh and other states, the consignee has to produce the verified documents from entry point of check-gate to the nearest check-gate at exit point for cross verification of document and consignment. The officer in-charge of the nearest check-gate at exit point, shall cross-check the documents signed at the entry point and upon satisfactory, he shall sign and stamp on the document and retain all the relevant documents for onward submission to the office of the competent authority,” the SOP added.
Weekly returns of the transportation of minerals have to be submitted by the consignor to the office of the competent authority. Monthly returns and on completion of trans-shipment have to be submitted to the office of the competent authority by the respective officer in-charge of both the entry and exit check-gates.
In case the trans-shipment is enroute to Bangladesh and if the mineral has to be stored in Meghalaya for a certain period of time which shall not exceed three months, the applicant has to fulfill the conditions as laid down in Rule 10 of the Meghalaya Mineral (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage) Rules, 2022.
As per the SOP, whoever violates the provision of the Meghalaya Mineral (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage) Rules, 2022 and notified SOP would be liable for punishment under Section 21 (2) of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957.
“The government in the Mining & Geology Department in public interests, may amend, relax or modify any provisions of these SOP if difficulty arises for giving effect to any of the provisions of these Standard Operating Procedures,” the notification said.