Activist demands revocation of permission for coal transport

Tura, May 20: Self proclaimed social activist from Shillong, Kingstone Bolwari has submitted a complaint to the Meghalaya DGP over the continuance of rat hole mining in the state despite the Supreme Court banning the activity and the state government claiming to have taken various steps to prevent it.

Copies of the same complaint were also forwarded to other officials including the IG of BSF, Commissioner of Customs and SP of Customs.

“The Supreme Court in an order dated.03.06.2019 has prevented rat-hole mining and illegal transportation of coal in the State and the State government claims that various measures have been taken to comply with the direction of the Supreme Court and the NGT. Shockingly, however,illegal rat-hole mining and illegal transportation of coal continues to this day,” Kingsatone said, and blamed the concerned department and the government for allowing vested interests to continue with the activity.

According to Kingstone, the illegal rat hole mining is especially taking place in the villages of Era A’ning, Goreng, Kalu and Bukchung/Mukchung and the dumping of the coal is being done at Jadi, Rongsa A’we/Dangsa A’we of South Garo Hills District. He added that illegal coal mining also continues at Min Minram Aonggre located between Chokpot and Emangre including at  Baija, Williamnagar, East Garo Hills District.

Referring to the order issued by the Under Secretary, Mining and Geology Department on April 28 this year, following which an impugned order was given by the South Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, granting permission to transport coal to Bangladesh to M/S Jai Maa Coal Pvt Ltd, Kingstone said that the earlier order by the HC had granted permission to export/ transport the coal from outside the state to Bangladesh and not from within the state.

“There is no stranded coal lying at Gasuapara area and granting permission to Jai Maa Coal Pvt. Ltd will give scope for transportation of fresh mining coal from south Garo hills to Bangladesh. The Government is allowing the transport of coal from outside the state to Bangladesh through Gasuapara, but in reality there is no coal coming from outside. Fresh coal is being mined from South Garo Hills and transported to Bangladesh,” Kingstone alleged.

He said that granting permission dated.28.04.2022 and impugned order dated.29.04.2022 are highly illegal and amounts to contempt of court and sub judice.

“The permission for transportation of coal whether lying stranded in Gasuapara or coming from outside or auctioned coal dumped in any part of the State is illegal and amounts to contempt of court. The State Government should allow the newly appointed retired Justice Katakey to file his preliminary report with regard to the compliance with the Supreme Court and NGT,” Kingstone demanded, while also seeking the revocation of the permission.

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