In a major allegation against the MDA government, a social activist from Garo Hills has alleged about the complicity of the government with persons seeking to export the illegally-mined coal in the State by claiming it to have been obtained from elsewhere.
Champer M. Sangma in his PIL filed before the Meghalaya High Court has alleged that one of the key players, Jaimaa Coal Private Limited, is again involved in illegal coal export racket.
According to Sangma, the persons in control of Jaimaa Coal Private Limited have another company by the name of Vaishno Devi Traders Private Limited, a name which came up even in the previous litigation, through which the illegal export activities are carried out.
Sangma stated before the High Court that more than 440 trucks are possibly involved in ferrying 5340 metric tons of coal from East Jaintia Hills. However, when he sought details under the Right to Information Act, 2005 regarding the movement of such coal, the authorities claimed that no records regarding this are available with them.
Further, Sangma said that in accordance with law, such records should have been maintained and the State government was liable to produce them or furnish information in such regard, when sought.
He further said that the trucks should have been weighed along the way at least in one of the weighbridges before being allowed to pass and records of such trucks at the relevant weighbridge, should also have been available.
However, Sangma’s queries under the RTI Act have resulted in the officials claiming that there are no records regarding weighing of such coal trucks at the weighbridges.
During the hearing of the PIL today, the division bench of the High Court said that since these allegations have been levelled, the State government should give an explanation.
“This calls for an explanation. The State will respond to the allegations levelled in the petition by way of an affidavit to be filed by the Secretary in the Transport Department. Such affidavit should be filed within three weeks from date,” the court said while listing the matter for hearing on August 31.