Dr Mukul Leader of Opposition written to Meghalaya CS on illegal coal mine

Shillong, Jan 14: Dr Mukul Sangma leader of the opposition in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly has written to the Mr MS Rao to bring to his notice about the continuous illegal coal mining in the State and illegal transportation of illegally mined coal thereof.

On receipt of the copy of the representation submitted to you by one whistle blower in the state, I have made a visit to Khliehrangnah, Shangpung, West Jaintia Hills, on the 28th October 2020 to verify the truth from the ground zero.

Upon arrival at the site, as led by the Deputy Commissioner, Jowai and Divisional Mining Officer, Jowai, coal dumped in a scattered manner in number of depot(s)/dumping ground were found and the site indicated that recently mined coal, apparently carried by siding trucks or dumper trucks, were dumped in a scattered manner in number of depot(s)/dumping grounds.

The respective truck loads, which were dumped in a scattered manner, were counted jointly by the Deputy Commissioner, Jowai and Divisional Mining Officer, Jowai in presence of the team led by me and amenuscripted copy indicating the number of truck loads duly signed on the spot by both DC, Jowai and DMO, jowai, was handed over to me. The total quantity counted was 1064 truck loads and each truck loads must be in the range of 12 to 16 MTs.

This reveals the fact that the actual quantity of coal at the site wasless than 20,000 MTs, while the enquiry report of the DMO, Jowai, vide letter No. DMO-J/R/23/2019/57, Dated :Jowai, the 2nd June 2020, indicated is 1,41,000 MT (Approximately) as per the figure available in the copy of the replies to RTI enclosed in the representation submitted to you by Shri S.N.Marak.

The following points may be noted,  That illegal coal mining is still taking place in violation of MMDR Act 1957 and the complete violation of the ban by the Hon’ble NGT on illegal coal mining.

Huge quantity of illegally mined coal which was submitted in the enquiry report of the Divisional Mining Officer, Jowai, indicating 1,41,000 MT (Approximately) of coal vide Letter No. DMO-J/R/23/2019/57, Dated :Jowai, the 2nd June 2020, have disappeared and must have been illegally lifted and transported resulting in serious loss of Government revenue.

That the same instance of illegality in respect to illegal coal mining and transportation of illegally mined coal without any royalty to the Government was brought to the notice of the Government through Press briefing and also in course of proceedings in the floor of the House during the last Assembly Session in November 2020.The silence of the Government in this regard and refusal to act is against the interest of the state.

Further, the findings on the spot in respect of quantity of illegally mined coal, as assessed and duly authenticated by both the Deputy Commissioner and Divisional Mining Officer of Jowai which is far less than the actual quantity of coal earlier assessed and officially communicated by the Divisional Mining Officer to the Deputy Commissioner, Jowai proves, beyond any doubt, that the coal earlier dumped at the said location have been illegally transported without payment of royalty, cess, etc.

It is to be noted that the scale and magnitude of illegality committed with such an ease cannot have happened without well planned abetment of the offences.

In view of the above, it is imperative, therefore, to, (i) enforce the Sub-Section (1) of the Section 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 in relation to Sub-Section (6) of Section 21 of MMDR Act 1957 to prevent further illegal coal mining andits transportation thereof and punishment of perpetrators of the crime as per law ; and (ii) Initiate legal proceeding as per the relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 to protect the interest of the state.

 

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