NGT action sought over illegal coal transport

TURA: A complaint has been 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 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 daily 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 Court 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 to 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 into the matter was instituted by the Meghalaya Lokayukta. It demanded action against Home Minister James K Sangma’s Special Assistant, the Secretary of Mining and Geology, DCs and SPs of East Jaintia Hills including others. While the petitioner had named certain individuals from Meghalaya, Assam and Tripura to be involved, the Lokayukta had sought the removal of those from the state to ensure a fair probe by the CBI. The probe by the CBI was to be completed within 15 days for a preliminary report. 

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