In a serious revelation, a coal trader John Frankie Rymbai has alleged that illegal transportation of coal in Meghalaya was carried out with the full knowledge of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma who also holds the Mining and Geology Department along with a “close aide of Sangma”, then Transport Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar and his successor Dasakhiat Lamare.
Addressing a press conference here today, Rymbai said that the ground work for illegal transportation of coal from Jaintia Hills is being monitored and assisted by a close aide of cabinet minister and Khliehriat MLA Kyrmen Shylla, present Transport Minister Dasakhiat Lamare with the help of Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui and police to facilitate the safe passage of illegal coal transportation without challan.
“These three departments are working hand in glove to loot the State revenue especially in the last three years from 2020,” Rymbai said.
He also said that the illegal coal transportation from West Khasi Hills to Assam via Garo Hills and via Ri-Bhoi was being assisted by Mawshynrut MLA Gigur Myrthong who is also the adviser to the Chief Minister.
“The successful bidder of the auctioned coal all over Meghalaya is equally accountable for the nexus with the government to manipulate the system to be corrupted with the blessing of the government and political thieves,” Rymbai said.
He also said that the CCTV cameras installed at exit check gates for recording each consignment and to determine the nature of consignment were non-functional.
As per the SOP for transportation of coal, the trucks have to carry only 12 tons but they are carrying 34 tons to 60 tons. Even after payment of Rs 1 lakh or Rs 80,000 to the ministers, in weighbridges you have to pay Rs 2000 per truck. People linked to the ministers are present in weighbridges to run this racket,” Rymbai said, adding that the inspector and checker of DMR at weighbridge became “mere spectator and jobless”.
“The illegal coal can be transported only by the people who are in power by synchronising their entire illegal activities with the manipulative system by operating without any challan or legal paper,” he added.
He also said that the Mining and Geology Department refused to provide replies to his RTI queries regarding the name of the successful bidders of the auctioned coal. Further, he said that the department did not provide information on the weighment slip of each truck enclosed in the Transport Permit (TP) to designated depot, details of GPS Number and SIM Card number installed in the GPS along with each truck.
“I have asked for information from the department about the countersignature of the Mineral Transport Challan by the official of Coal India Limited posted at the weighbridge but the same was denied as they did not reply to my query,” Rymbai said.
“The government does not want to implement the mining policy as they wanted to make money from this huge coal racket,” he added.
Leave a Reply