E-auction of coal back on track

Response received from bidders in two districts: CM

SHILLONG: The process of e-auction of the extracted coal in the state is back on track after initial hiccups.
Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma on Thursday told reporters that the government has started the process of e-auction of the extracted coal despite some concerns as the National Green Tribunal had wanted the government to facilitate transport of coal from the quarry to the depot.
The government earlier had proposed that the miners should transport the coal from the quarry to the coal depot since it was difficult for the government to get into it. However, the NGT did not agree to the proposal.
Finding no other option, the government had to arrange transporters for transportation of coal to the depot.
Initially, when the government called for bids to transport the coal from the quarry to the depot, there was no response, as a result of which the tender process had to be taken to the district level.
“Thereafter, the deputy commissioners initiated the tender process locally and got response from the local bidders in two districts,” Sangma said.
The state government is now optimistic of being able to move things faster.
The chief minister however said that the government would have to follow the rules and prescribed laws.
The NGT committee had earlier approved auction of 2 lakh metric tons of extracted coal in Meghalaya out of the 32, 56,715 lakh metric tons of extracted coal.
The coal approved to be auctioned from different districts of the state include 75,000 metric tons (MT) in East Jaintia Hills district, 50,000 MT each in West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills districts, and 25,000 MT in South West Khasi Hills district.
The Supreme Court, in its order passed on July 3 last year, had directed that the entire extracted coal stocks already identified in the state should be handed over to Coal India Limited (CIL) for disposal/auction as per the rules of CIL and mode and manner formulated by the NGT-appointed committee.

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