Friday, December 8, 2023

‘Coal inaction due to manpower crisis’


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SHILLONG, June 7: Pulled up by the High Court of Meghalaya on several occasions for failing to arrest illegal mining and transportation of coal, the state government has blamed the slow progress on the lack of adequate manpower.
The high court had recently directed the chief secretary and the DGP to file their reports, updating it on the action taken against illegal coal mining and transportation.
“The court is aware that we required additional manpower. The court also made it clear that illegal coal mining will die once the government checks the illegal transportation,” an official said.
Stating that the illegal coal mining and resumption of legal mining have to be addressed by the government, he said that the government would streamline everything, albeit slowly.
“The issue of illegal transportation of coal is like a cat-and-mouse game,” the official said.
He said that the Supreme Court had taken cognisance of the reality in Meghalaya and directed the auctioning of extracted coal instead of forfeiting it so that the money could be given to the coal miners.
“Once the legal mining starts, things will change within a year,” the official said.
Apart from coal, the High Court of Meghalaya took cognisance of other issues and slammed the government and its agencies for garbage collection in Jowai and the mushrooming of illegal coke factories in Shallang in West Khasi Hills.

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