Govt hopeful of holding coal auction within two weeks

SHILLONG, Nov 20: The state government is optimistic about holding the first phase auction of 2 lakh metric tonnes of coal within the next two weeks.
An official from the Mining and Geology department informed that the department was all set for auction and the construction of five designated depots in different districts have been completed with manpower already allotted in the depots.
Altogether, 11 depots in the state have been notified but the government would use only five depots in the first phase of the auction.
It may be mentioned that work for the depots in East Jaintia Hills, West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills is over while in the other two depots, infrastructure creation is underway with the department constructing weigh bridges, office buildings and installing CCTV cameras besides carrying out other work.
Of the total amount of coal to be auctioned, 75,000 MT is in East Jaintia Hills, 50,000 MT in South Khasi Hills, 25,000 MT in South West Khasi Hills while 50,000 MT of coal is in South Garo Hills.
Officials also informed that the department has received applications in East Jaintia Hills for which transportation challans have been issued and the transportation would start soon.
Stating that the government has also publicised the website on which the auction will take place, the official said the bidders could register in the online portal and participate in the bidding.
“We are confident that the first auction will be completed within a month’s time,” the official said.
It may be mentioned that the NGT committee in March this year had approved, on a pilot basis, the auction of 2 lakh MT out of the 32 lakh MT of coal in the state.
This was based on the Supreme Court’s ruling on July 3 last year.
The government would be able to generate a royalty cess and GST worth Rs 21 crore through the auction.

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