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SHILLONG: The July 3 order of the Supreme Court contradicts the stand of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma that the NGT-appointed panel is secondary.
The NGT-constituted committee was headed by Justice (retd) BP Katakey, who resigned recently after he did not get the required information from the government regarding 32 lakh metric tonnes of coal which will be transported after auction.
The apex court in the order had asked Coal India Ltd to auction the extracted coal under the supervision of the Katakey committee.
However, the government did not want the committee to supervise the coal auction and the chief minister went on to say that Coal India Ltd will do the needful.
The court had said that the state government after the assessment of the coal lying in four districts, including the details of the quantities and the owners, may ensure that entire coal is handed over to the Coal India Ltd as per the mode and manner to be formulated by Katakey committee in consultation with officers of the Coal India Ltd and Meghalaya government.
However, the chief minister downplayed the functioning of the Katakey committee and said that since all the details regarding coal are available with the Supreme Court, there is a limited role for the NGT committee. The court also wanted the Meghalaya government and its officers, especially deputy commissioners of the districts concerned, to enter details of quantity of the coal, name of the owner and place from where it is collected and asked all concerned to take steps to ensure weighment of coal when it is received by Coal India Ltd.
Katakey wanted the details of coal to have a transparent transportation and auction.
Earlier, the government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the formation of the NGT committee but the court rejected the plea of the government.