The NGT committee headed by Justice (Retd) B D Agarwal has directed the Meghalaya government to submit a detailed reply as to what procedure is adopted in auctioning unclaimed or incidentally recovered coal in different districts of the State for the period from January 2019 till date.
The order by the NGT committee was issued recently based on the complaint lodged by United Achik Youth Federation on December 7, 2020 regarding auction of coal in South West Khasi Hills.
Deputy Commissioner, South West Khasi Hills informed the NGT committee that unclaimed coal of 53,224 tons was noticed by the assistant executive engineer of PWD in the process of construction of a two-lane road from Lailad (Borsora) to Nongjri.
“In our opinion, the committee cannot thoroughly brush aside the allegation that the quantity of coal that was incidentally extracted from the edge of the hills and subsequently auctioned does not exist at all. The allegation hints at sale of already extracted coal in the garb of incidental recovery,” the NGT committee said.
The NGT committee also asked Additional Director, Central Pollution Control Board, Dr. Shantanu Dutta to visit the site and ascertain as to whether 53,224 tons of coal can be extracted/available while cutting the road side hill for a stretch of 25 kilometres.
The NGT committee directed the Meghalaya government to submit a detailed reply as to what procedure is adopted in auctioning unclaimed or incidentally recovered coal in different districts of the State for the period from January 2019 till date.
It also sought details on auction notices, bidding details, sale orders and other documents from the government.
The NGT committee also directed the Secretary, Mining and Geology Department to clarify as to why GST compensation at the rate of Rs 400 per ton, GST at the rate of five per cent and also the MEPR Fund contribution at the rate of Rs 400 per ton is not being collected from the successful coal bidders.