Former MLA of Rongara-Siju constituency Rophul S. Marak has raised serious concerns regarding the recent e-auction of coal in the East Jaintia Hills District.
In a letter addressed to the Directorate of Mineral Resources today, Marak gave details of the results of the e-auction of assessed coal.
He also said that the e-auction “is nothing but a means of facilitating illegal transportation of illegally extracted coal by manipulation of relevant documents”.
According to Marak, the prominent e-auction winners include Chesrang A. Sangma, Rukmani R. Marak, Ruthina D. Marak, Mahalaxmi Continental Ltd, Jai Maa Coal Private Ltd, and Vaishno Devi Traders Pvt Ltd.
The total coal auctioned amounts to a staggering 94,360 metric tonnes (MT) with a cumulative value of Rs 2,88,573,100.
Marak’s letter alleged discrepancies and irregularities, pointing out that the awardees, particularly those transporting the coal to Bangladesh, are opting for a longer route via Gasuapara land custom station instead of Dawki, raising suspicions of potential illegal activities.
Additionally, Marak questioned the legitimacy of the auction winners, expressing concerns about their business engagements in the coal trade and the lack of information on their income, assets, and liabilities.
Citing ongoing legal issues and court concerns over illegal coal extraction and transportation, Marak urges immediate action to thwart any illegalities.
The letter specifically called for thorough verification of coal availability, meticulous record-keeping of transport trucks, and cross-verification of export records to prevent potential illegal activities.
He also said that steps should be taken to ensure that no fresh coal is transported illegally in any manner whatsoever under the pretext of being auctioned coal.
Marak concludes the letter by warning of potential Supreme Court intervention if swift action is not taken by the authorities on the concerns expressed by him.
“Lack of action shall compel me to approach the Supreme Court by way of contempt proceeding,” he said.
Copies of the letter have been sent to various authorities, including Justice (Retd) B P Katakey, Registrar General of the Meghalaya High Court, Chief Secretary of Meghalaya, Director General of Police, and other relevant officials.
This development adds another layer to the long-standing issue of illegal coal mining and transportation in Meghalaya, emphasising the need for immediate and decisive action by the authorities.