After many rounds of dispute and legal wrangling the South Garo Hills district administration is finally ready to auction stranded coal within its jurisdiction.
The last date for interested bidders to submit their bids for stranded coal in the district is 12 noon tomorrow while the auction or opening of bids will be held on October 13 at 11 am.
This was notified by the Deputy Commissioner, H B Marak, in an order issued on October 6.
This notice comes after a continuous stream of wrangling among people dissatisfied with the way the administration was handling the coal auctions, which are being conducted as per National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders.
The DC’s carefully worded notice said that the call for re-auction of coal is being done in pursuance of the Meghalaya High Court’s order dated March 18 in which it had issued directions for the re-auction of coal.
The auction notice was given by the DC on September 24 and, as per directions of the High Court, a period of 15 days has been allowed for bidders to submit their bids. As per the court directives the bids will be opened after three days of the closing of bids that is on October 13.
After the closing of bids the tender box is to be kept in the Head Assistant’s chamber in the DC’s office in Baghmara. The order said that it would be sealed in the presence of the Superintendent of Police and the Treasury Officer and any intending bidders who wish to be present on the said date.
The sealed tender box will be taken to the District Treasury strong room where it will be kept under strict vigilance of the SP till the auction date and time.
The final results of the auction of coal in the district garnered controversy last December after a flurry of petitions were filed in the High Court and then being withdrawn, which prompted one more person to file a complaint against the withdrawal of the petitions alleging that it was done with vested interests.
The auction of coal, which is allowed by the Supreme Court and the NGT, has been hanging fire for months due to the failure of the state government to administer the issue without controversy.
It may be mentioned that the NGT committee has approved the pilot basis auction of 2 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of coal out of the 32 lakh metric tonnes in Meghalaya.
The break-up of the auction from different districts of the state are: East Jaiñtia Hills – 75,000 MT, West Khasi Hills – 50,000 MT, South West Khasi Hills – 25,000 MT and South Garo Hills – 50,000 MT.