SHILLONG, Jan 15: The Opposition’s unrelenting hammering on the MDA Government has yet again evoked response from ruling dispensation with Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, on Friday, stating that all concerned authorities have been already given a standing order to be vigilant and take stringent action against those found involved in illegal mining and coal transportation activities.
The reaction from the deputy chief minister comes a day after Leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma, raked up the issue of coal by requesting the state government to put in place various Sub-Sections of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act to tackle illegal mining and transportation of coal in Meghalaya.
Tynsong said that the standing order was issued in 2015-2016, which still stands.
Replying to Opposition’s allegations that illegal mining and transportation of coal is still rampant, Tynsong asserted that the state government has directed the district administrations, deputy commissioners and superintendents of police, besides other line departments, to be pro-active and ensure that no illegal activity takes place.
The Leader of Opposition, in his letter dated January 13, 2021, sent through Chief Secretary, MS Rao, had mentioned that he had visited Khliehrangnah, Shangpung, West Jaintia Hills, on October 28, 2020, to verify the truth from ground zero.
“Upon arrival at the site, as led by West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner and Divisional Mining Officer, coal dumped in a scattered manner in number of depot(s)/dumping ground were found and the site indicated that recently-mined coal, apparently carried by siding trucks or dumper trucks, were dumped in a scattered manner in the number of a depot(s)/dumping grounds,” Sangma had alleged in the letter.
He also mentioned that huge quantities of illegally mined coal, which was submitted in the enquiry report of the Divisional Mining Officer, Jowai, indicating 1,41,000 MT (approximately) of coal vide letter from June last year, have disappeared and must have been lifted and transported illegally resulting in a serious loss of government revenue.
“That the same instance of illegality in respects to illegal coal mining and transportation of illegally mined coal without any royalty to the government was brought to the notice of the government through press briefing and also in course of proceedings in the floor of the House during the last Assembly Session in November 2020,” Sangma had said.