NGT panels inspect coal depots in State

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Officials quantify coal stock at a depot in West Khasi Hills on Saturday. (ST)
Officials quantify coal stock at a depot in West Khasi Hills on Saturday. (ST)

JOWAI/ NONGSTOIN/ TURA: Several teams of the Special Committee constituted as per the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Saturday visited East and West Jaintia Hills, West Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi districts for inspection of all the coal depots and assessment of the quantity of coal lying in the open in the respective district.

The inspection and evaluation work will continue on Monday also.

The team inspecting the depots in East Jaintia Hills comprised officials of the Directorate of Mineral Resources (DMR) and Central Pollution Control Board, accompanied by district officials including a Magistrate.

Two members each from the Pollution Control Board and the Directorate of Mineral Resources visited Shallang and Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills District on Saturday.

The team inspecting the coal mines at Nongpyndeng, Nongstoin, included a Government delegation led by J.P. Lakiang, ADC, West Khasi Hills District, while the inspection at Shallang, done in the presence of M.B. Tongper, BDO, Mawshynrut.

The coal traders were handed forms to fill in details pertaining to the quantity of coal lying in the open at their respective depots.

The officials also informed that their assessment had to be submitted by Monday.

A crude method was employed to estimate the amount of coal stock. The DMR officials used measuring tapes and assessed the coal stock through guess work, leaving the coal traders to wonder whether the coal stock assessed by the officials and the quantity mentioned by the traders in the form would be in sync or not.

Coal traders complained to the inspection officials that the coal lying at the depots would be washed away during the monsoon if the ban on the sale was not lifted at the earliest.

In West Garo Hills, Additional District Magistrate D.D. Sangma and Additional District Magistrate D.D. Shira have been deputed for Dalu area and Damal Asim area respectively to assist the NGT constituted inspection teams, Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi informed.

A video camera team has also been deputed for the purpose, Bakshi added.

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