MPLU to take up coal-related illegalities

Labour union rues load shedding in state

JOWAI: The Meghalaya People’s Labour Union (MPLU), in a meeting at Khliehriat on Tuesday, discussed various nefarious activities and illegal practices taking place in the state which include misuse of coal transport challan besides others.
The meeting was convened by the MPLU District Committee, East Jaintia Hills, which is still an ad-hoc body in the district.
Speaking at the meeting, the MPLU state president, Erwin K Sutnga stressed on the welfare of the people of the state, in both social and economic terms. Since the coal ban that was imposed by the NGT in 2014, severe economic problems have hit the people of the state coupled with increase in the various nefarious and illegal activities which are now under the investigation after Meghalaya Lokyukta ordered CBI to probe into alleged coal-related illegal activities. “We require a resolution against such activities in the state as the welfare of many people are affected. We are totally against this,” Sutnga said.
The meeting especially discussed the illegalities arising out of issuing of coal transport challan. The 32 lakh metric tonnes of coal pending for transportation, should be handled on the basis of ownership system and transport challans should be issued to the coal owners instead of encouraging or even maintaining ‘dalal’ or middlemen, the union said in the meeting. 
“There is a big racket in the challan business, wherein few individuals, who the locals will identify, are involved and make huge amount of money. Another important issue discussed on Tuesday was regarding the amendment of the Sixth Schedule for which the parliamentary standing committee will hold a meeting on January 18. The MPUL has taken a stand to support the memorandum by the state government and demanded proper amendment of the Sixth Scheduled to include land rights, rights over coal and other minerals as per the judgment of the Supreme Court. Further, MPLU resolved to intensively be involved in transportation of coal so that illegal activities and practices can be rooted out. 
The union has also taken up electricity woes in the state.
“The electricity issue is due to the miss-management on the part of the authorities and I don’t know whom to blame on this, MeECL, MePDCL or the state government, as we know that the NEEPCO has asked the Central government to deduct Rs 620 crore from the state budget due to the pending dues”, the MPLU said.
The union said that electricity is an essential part of people’s lives and it should be provided regularly without over-charging.

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