Wednesday, April 24, 2024

1.34 L metric tonnes of coal in EJH yet to be transported


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, March 7: The Justice (retired) BP Katakey-headed one-member committee on Thursday said while the transportation of the re-verified, re-inventorised coal in West Khasi Hills, South Garo Hills and South West Khasi Hills is on the verge of completion, East Jaintia Hills still has 1.34 lakh metric tonnes of coal which is yet to be transported.
“I am here to take stock of what happened. I found that a certain amount of coal, majority in East Jaintia Hills which is 1.34 lakh metric tonnes, is yet to be transported to the designated depot. I will inform the High Court accordingly because the High Court order says the coal should be confiscated and seized,” Justice Katakey said after a meeting held at the State Secretariat.
“The left out (coal) stock is the highest in East Jaintia Hills,” he said. He also said that the transportation process is going on. He said in some districts, the seized coal, other than the re-inventorised, reassessed coal, is yet to be fully auctioned by the Deputy Commissioners due to non-receipt of an order from the court concerned.
“Unless they get the order from the court, they cannot sell it. That amount will definitely go to the exchequer. I have focussed on mainly those things,” Justice Katakey said.
The committee suggested that the auction of reassessed or re-verified inventoried coal should be completed by March 31, 2024.
In his 20th interim report, Justice Katakey had stated that the entire reassessed or re-verified inventoried coal should be auctioned by the Coal India Limited (CIL) by March 31, 2024. The previous deadline of February 29 could not be met due to non-transportation of the entire coal from the pithead to the designated depots.
Talking about the meeting, Justice Katakey said he also discussed alternative employment generations for the coal mine owners and the report on the steps taken will be submitted to him by Friday.
On videography which was supposed to have been conducted at the end of the previous deadline, he said since a certain amount of coal is in transit, he had postponed the order for videography to let that coal be transferred to the designated depot.
He said the entire coal stock was put up for auction and a chunk of it was auctioned in November last year. However, it has not been lifted completely yet and the buyers have filed applications seeking more time to transport.
“My whole idea is to get the entire reassessed coal in the CIL designated depot. Thereafter, whatever coal is left outside the designated depot will be treated as illegally mined coal. Hence, it will be seized and confiscated,” Justice Katakey said.
He said the Deputy Commissioners cited reasons behind non-completion of transportation and he will mention the same in his report to the High Court.
The committee had earlier advised a drone survey and videography in the four districts after the transportation of re-assessed/re-verified inventoried coal to the designated depots to determine the availability of coal so that any coal found could be immediately confiscated under the provisions of the MMDR Act 1957 and sold.
The next meeting will be held by the end of this month.


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