Tura, Sep 26: The possibility of illegal coal mining taking place in South Garo Hills has once again been brought to the fore, with questions being raised about the genuineness of the quantity of coal uploaded for auctioning, in the recent auction order issued by the Office of the Directorate of Mineral Resources.
MLA turned social activist from the district, Rophul S Marak along with another social activist, Kingstone Bolwari on Tuesday, submitted a joint petition to Retired Judge, Justice Katakey in Shillong urging that a spot inquiry be conducted to verify the actual amount of extracted coal at the different sites.
The auction order issued earlier by the concerned department had mentioned 3,635 MT of coal belonging to one, Sebastian D Shir, 2,402 MT belonging to Tharamol Sangma, 5,212 belonging to Holybirth Sangma, 3,851 MT belonging to Pedindro M Sangma, while the names of 10 other coal owners were also mentioned however, barring the amount of coal they owned.
“We, the people of the district, are doubtful on the genuineness of the quantity of coal uploaded for auctioning. There are also complaints from people (who do not want to be named for obvious reasons) that there is no coal as claimed by the above mentioned coal owners,” the petition urged, while seeking the inquiry, the report of which should be submitted to the full bench of the Meghalaya HC.
The petitioned also recalled the statement of the Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Mining and Geology Department which said that the Government reserves the right to cancel share of coal under e-auction without assigning any reason thereof, and urged that the same be taken into account while dealing with the coal auction.