The issue of illegal mining and transportation of coal continues to be the debate in Meghalaya amid allegations of nexus between government authorities and the coal mafia in this illegal activity.
Based on RTI details, a resident from East Garo Hills has lodged a formal complaint to the State Chief Secretary regarding illegal stock of coal at Khliehrangnah area of Shangpung in West Jaiñtia Hills.
Sengbreezbirth N. Marak in his complaint to the Chief Secretary with copy to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said that in the last few months, there have been auction of alleged unclaimed coal by Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of different districts where the actual quantity of the unclaimed coal at the site is far less than the quantity being shown in the official correspondence and then in the public auction notice.
“This strategy is being adopted by many DCs as can be observed in respect of all such public auctions of coal being illegally mined under the cover of the challan of the auction coal. Further, in the process, along with the transportation of the auctioned coal and under the banner of auctioned coal, illegally mined coal are further being transported at the cost of the State,” Marak said.
Marak also referred to a complaint filed before the Deputy Commissioner, West Jaiñtia Hills by one Damehi Lamare alleging that there is an illegal stock of coal at Khliehrangnah area.
According to Marak, an enquiry was ordered by the Deputy Commissioner, West Jaiñtia Hills and the probe report was submitted by the Divisional Mining Officer and subsequently an FIR was lodged on June 23 this year by the Divisional Mining Officer as per the order of the Deputy Commissioner.
“The assessed quantity of the unclaimed coal was shown as 1,41,000 metric tonnes. On my collection of the inputs from the sites of the alleged unclaimed/illegal stock of coal indicated by the few coordinates, the quantity of coal is hardly 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the indicated quantity in the official report of Divisional Mining Officer submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, West Jaiñtia Hills,” Marak said.
Marak also urged the Chief Secretary to take necessary action as per law to put a stop to illegally mined coal under the cover of the challan of auction coal.