TURA, Jan 14: The Constitutional Rights Forum (CRF) on Friday alleged the illegal extraction of coal taking place in South Garo Hills and sought the immediate halt to the transportation of the mineral which allegedly is being allowed by the district Administration.
In its complaint to the Meghalaya Chief Secretary, the forum called for action against the commissioner of transport, director of mining and geology as well as the deputy commissioner of SGH for allegedly allowing the illegal activity.
Earlier an order allowing the transport of coal through the state of Meghalaya from Assam was given to one M/S Jaimaa Coal Private Limited of Guwahati. Through the order, the coal from outside the state could be transported through Meghalaya and exported through the port of Gasuapara into neighbouring Bangladesh. A similar order to the same effect had also been provided by the DC of SGH to one Maruti Fuels, Dudhnoi in Assam.
According to the forum, coal that is being transported into Bangladesh is not being brought from outside the state but was being mined from the district of South Garo Hills itself. It claimed that the transported coal has been extracted from the villages of Rongding Awe, Dangsa Awe, Rongsa Awe, Gare Gittim and Are Gittim.
Regarding the challans issued by the DMR in the name of successful bidder, Babul Marak for the coal that has been lying in the district in the above mentioned villages they claimed that the coal that is being transported has been added with freshly dug, illegal coal on a daily basis.
The CRF further alleged that the entire coal transport was taking place with the help of colluding government officials and politicians. The illegal transport, they asserted, would also cause a huge loss to the state exchequer.
“There are no checks on the number of trucks or the quantity of coal being transported as there is no system in place to do so. This has given scope for manipulation for both illegal mining and transport. We therefore seek a spot inquiry to verify the information and action against those colluding officers,” the forum demanded in its complaint to the CS.