Friday, June 14, 2024

Extracted coal may vanish soon


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Red-tapism, police laxity adding to violation of NGT order

SHILLONG: Considering the number of violations of NGT order on extraction and transportation of coal, there is a fear that the transportation of coal will be completed, though illegally, even before the actual nod of official transportation.

There are more than a hundred cases of violation of NGT order on transportation of coal.

Several trucks carrying coal were seized and truckers were arrested from the districts of Jaintia Hills, West and South West Khasi Hills, Garo Hills, East Khasi Hills and Assam.

The NGT imposed the ban on rat-hole mining and transportation of coal through an interim order on April 17.

Subsequently, police and the district administration have swung into action and decided to take steps to check the violations.

However, the series of cases of transportation of extracted coal have exposed the laxity on the part of police in checking the violation of the order.

A police official said that with the shortage of police force it is difficult to cover all nook and corner of the state. Besides this, red tape on the part of the Government has also added to the problem of delay in official transportation of extracted coal. With more delay, there were more cases of violations of NG order.

The NGT violations are mostly the result of frustration of people over the delay on the part of the Government to allow transportation of coal.

The NGT in fact in its hearing held on June 9 had asked the Government to form a committee to assess the quantity of extracted coal.

Following this, the RP Marak committee submitted its report to NGT which however, was rejected by the Green panel since it was a shoddy report.

Since the committee headed by RP Marak did not do the job as required, this has resulted in the delay in the official transportation of coal.

Again the NGT after its hearing held on August 1 constituted another committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary KS Kropha to look into all aspects of safe transportation of coal. The extension sought by the Committee has added to the delay in submitting the report.

The Committee on September 1 finally issued guidelines on transportation of coal and subsequently on September 4, the Principal Secretary, Mining and Geology Y. Tsering issued several conditions before transporting coal.

From September 4, seven working days were allotted for the preparatory work for printing forms on royalty collection and issue of transport permit as per the conditions.

On expiry of seven days, another 14 working days are allowed for payment of royalty by coal mine owners.

After collection of royalty, the Director of Mineral Resources will notify the date for starting issue of transport permit. A period of three months only will be allowed for transportation of coal.

Sources said that with so much delay in exporting the extracted coal, there is all the likelihood that illegal transportation of coal will be rampant.

A few recent cases are that on September 4 at around 11 am, one truck (AS-01-AC-8048) driven by Chesterfield Syiemlieh was detected transporting coal in violation of NGT order at Nongstoin Shillong Road in West Khasi Hills. Police arrested the driver and seized the truck.

Earlier, on September 2 at around 2 am, Police detected one truck (ML-07A-6412) at Rongjeng NH-62 in East garo Hills while transporting coal in violation of NGT order. In this connection, Police arrested five persons, identified as Kulhal Rabha, Amal Rabha, Kaltu Rabha,Maltibal S Sangma and Rakesh M Marak.

On August 31 at around 8.30 am, Police detected one truck (AS-01-EC-8759) driven by Badrul Islam Laskar (22) transporting coal in violation of NGT order at Porsohat village, in West Khasi Hills. Police arrested the driver and the truck seized.


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