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Coal smuggling has cost state Rs1200 crore: MLA
SHILLONG: The State Congress has decided to pile on the State Government over the issue of illegal transportation of coal while alleging that the ruling coalition was deliberately going slow on resumption of coal mining since “a couple of people would stand to lose crores” of ill-gotten money.
Speaking to media persons here on Saturday, Congress MLA, David Nongrum said that illegal transportation of coal was an open secret and everybody was aware of clandestine transportation of coal. He alleged that not less than 1000 coal laden trucks pass through his constituency every day.
The Mawryngkneng legislator also said the Government must immediately institute an independent probe into the matter.
According to Nongrum, once the coal mining and transportation was legalised, the State Government would earn a revenue but it would not bring benefit to few people and they would lose hundreds of crores of illegal money.
“I am sure we as a state in last two years have lost a revenue of not less than 1200-1500 crore,” Nongrum alleged.
As the name of Power Minsiter’s OSD had also surfaced in the illegal transportation of coal, Nongrum said that the moveable, immovable assets and income of the OSD of the Power Minister in last few years should checked and verified.
“I feel there is a hidden agenda behind not legalising coal mining and transportation as once the coal mining and transportation is legalised, few people would lose huge chunk of illegal money,” he said while alleging that an amount of Rs 50,000-70,000 was being paid for each truck carrying illegal coal on a daily basis.
When asked what role was the Opposition planning to play on the vexed issue, he said that the Opposition leader had time and again raised the matter but the State Government turned a deaf ear.
He likened the situation in Meghalaya with UP and Bihar where “goondaraj” was prevalent with corruption and lawlessness, Nongrum even slammed the OSDs, Private Secretaries , Personal Secretaries of the Ministers who were seen driving around the official vehicles with the blare of sirens and now even MDCs have been using siren with police escorts.
People are not maintaining protocols and lawlessness is rampant; people are being buried alive and coal barons are running the show,” he observed.