HC asks govt to stop coal transportation

SHILLONG/TURA: The High Court of Meghalaya on Wednesday ordererd that no further lifting and transportation of the auctioned coal will be allowed in South West Garo Hills till January 30.
The DC and SP have been asked to ensure strict complaints of the order. The court was hearing a petition filed by M/S Pahal Coal Traders Pvt Ltd represented by its trader Tapan Jyoti Bhuyan against the state government.
Earlier, a complaint was filed with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over reports of illegal mining as well as transportation of coal taking place in the state in violation of the Supreme Court’s judgement of July 3, 2019.
The complaint was filed on Tuesday by social activist, Kingstone Bolwary, in which he alleged that despite the SC order which states that ‘no extracted coal should be moved without payment of royalty and without valid challans’, thousands of trucks are still transporting coal on a day-to-day basis.
Bolwary also alleged the involvement of government officials like commissioner of transport, home department, mining and geology, DCs and SPs in the illegal activity and claimed that the movement of trucks was taking place right under their very noses.
“Due to the negligence by concerned authorities to check the illegal movement of trucks, those involved in the illegal activity have been emboldened. A fresh inquiry into the matter needs to be conducted immediately so that steps can be taken to stop the illegal transportation of coal,” Bolwary said in his complaint.
According to Bolwary, the illegal transportation of coal is being done from Shallang through Athiabari-Aradongga and Langpi-Monan Haldipara roads to Boko in Assam and other destinations.
Reminding of the SC order which allows only 9 metric tonnes of coal to be transported per truck, Bolwary said that the trucks were carrying more than the amount allowed.
Alleging that concerned officials of the government were encouraging the blatant violation of the SC order, Bolwary demanded a spot verification by the NGT committee and put a stop to the illegal activity as well as initiating contempt proceedings against all those involved in the court of law.
It may be mentioned that a petition on the matter was also filed by a border resident following which a CBI inquiry was ordered.

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