There is absolutely no question of illegality in the transportation of coal in Meghalaya as the government is following Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal guidelines, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said today in response to persistent allegations of corruption from the opposition Congress.
If there had been any illegalities, the NGT would have raised the matter regarding the 32 lakh tonnes of coal that the state has claimed is being stored at various coal dumps around Meghalaya.
The CM also said that the Congress is changing its tune from day to day, first questioning that there are 32 lakh tonnes of the mineral and later saying that the government is delaying its auctioning of the same amount.
“First thing is that the opposition should know what they are talking about. It looks very bad on their part to give statements that are contradicting themselves. Its shows the confusion in the opposition,” Sangma said.
It is only thanks to his government that the Supreme Court granted permission for 32 lakh tonnes of already mined coal to be auctioned off. However, to meet the apex court’s guidelines, certain criteria and provisions need to be followed and this is causing some of the delay, he added.
Citing an example, the CM pointed out that transporting the coal from the various pit heads to the depots, which will be staffed by Coal India Ltd, needs to be done by the government, but, “these kinds of things are very complicated for us because the government has not been in the business of transporting large quantities of coal. It was a huge challenge for us.”
Auctioning will begin shortly, Sangma added, at least in a few districts to start with.