Mukul  critical of  coal auction exercise in Meghalaya

SHILLONG: Leader of Opposition in Meghalaya, Dr Mukul Sangma has stated that the exercise of the State Government to auction  coal has to be  seen from the legal perspective to find  out if the State Government is trying to camouflage the illegal mining and its transportation in the state.

The statement came from the leader of Opposition  while reacting to the state government’s decision of allowing  transportation of auctioned coal by NPP leader Nidamon Chullet, who is the main accused in the assault of two activists.

In a recent order, the government allowed transportation of 809 metric tonnes (MT) of auctioned coal lying at 13th Mile Tamulkuchi based on the letter and documents received from the Ri Bhoi deputy commissioner.

The coal was disposed of by auction in favour of Chullet, who is from Mynkrem Shangpung in West Jaintia Hills. The transportation will be allowed till October 31.

It may be mentioned that the NGT committee headed by retired Gauhati high court judge B P Katakey has already sought a report regarding the matter.

“ I strongly feel that it has to be seen from the legal perspective whether this exercise is to camouflage the illegal mining and its transportation in the state and this needs to be verified,” Sangma said.

Stating that there is a need to look at the whole background based on which the auctioning is taking place, he added that this was a matter of concern   and coal mine owners who are waiting for the legal mining to take place, have already expressed their concern on the matter,

According to Sangma,  the Opposition would find out the modus operandi behind the move besides urging the NGT appointed Committee to look into the matter.

“I will  also urge the authorities including the NGT committee to find out whether this move is in contravention to the Supreme Court judgement and the Committee will have to find out as to how this exercise is taking place,” he said while adding that  some people are also sending petitions to the NGT committee in this regard.

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