Demand for probe into source of coal procured by JH coke plants
JOWAI, Feb 22: The East Jaintia National Council (EJNC) has demanded a probe into the source of coal procured by various coke factories operating in East Jaintia Hills.
A delegation of the organisation on Monday met East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner and told him that all coke factories operational in the district procure coal from illegal traders, who are mining and illegally transporting coal to these factories.
In a letter to the DC, the EJNC has demanded a magisterial inquiry and two-week deadline to initiate the probe.
“In the recent years, East Jaintia Hills has witnessed sudden rise in the number of coke factories operating in the district. There are more than 10 such coke factories which have been set up in the district in recent years after obtaining permission and clearance from the state government. Also, some of them are still under construction,” the letter stated.
“Albeit the government is time and again claiming that there is no coal mining in the state, we fail to understand as to how this coal-based coke factories come into existence in spite of the fact that there is no coal mining in East Jaintia Hills,” the statement added.
According to the EJNC, allegations are levelled by different quarters of rampant illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state, particularly in East Jaintia Hills.
With the absence of legal coal mining in the district and coke factories visibly flourishing, there is a strong possibility that all the coke factories in East Jaintia Hills derive coal through illegal sources, alleged EJNC.
It also claimed that there are evidences to prove that the coke factories in East Jaintia Hills do not purchase coal from outside the state nor through any legal channel.
“If the coke factories in East Jaintia Hills do not procure coal from illegal coal mining then the question is, from where they get their coal for producing coke? It is notable that coke is being transported freely and as legal products without any hesitation to different parts of the state as well as outside. However if the coke factories derive their coal from East Jaintia Hills, then the coke and even the proceeds are illegal and is a loss to the state exchequer,” it said.
It further questioned the state government as to how permission as well as no-objection certificate (NOC) were granted to such factories.
The organisation informed that the DC has assured to conduct a magisterial inquiry on the matter.