Former Meghalaya CM alleged illegalities in auctioning of unclaimed coal

Shillong, Oct 22: Opposition leader, and Congress leader Dr. Mukul Sangma on Thursday alleged that there is illegalities in the auctioning of unclaimed coal.

According to Dr. Sangma public auction means everybody has to know and the auctioned coal is awarded to the highest bidder.

“In order to ensure that you have the highest bidder you have to have, substantial time given for nay likely interested parties to come and participate so that the maximum prices is realised. and you get the highest bidder. Interestingly here the price which was awarded is below Rs. 2000, ie., Rs 1400-1500 per MT,” the opposition leader said.

On Thursday, the opposition leader inspected the coal auction site at Nengkra in East Garo Hills district.

He also said that the owner of the land where the coal was dumped have indicated who are the owners are.

Dr. Sangma said that the persons who had rented out the land have shared the names of the coal owners. so there is no question of having any unclaimed coal.

He also said that there is a need to send a strong message against the illegalities otherwise what is happening is that people who are engaged in it are getting emboldened because there is likelihood so that there is a patronage.

“Unless there is a patronage by people in authority you cannot have these kind of illegalities happening in Meghalaya,” the former Chief Minister added.

He also said that despite complaints from avrious quarters on the illegal mining and transportation of coal there is repeated denial coming from anybody else but the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma himself.

Dr. Sangma said that in spite of people trying to draw the attention of the government and the Chief Minister himself there is hardly any attempt to even verify, whether such allegations are having any substance.

He also said that the quantity of coal in question which was auction was 34000 MT but there is hardly be 5000-6000 MT at the site.

“This indicates only the modus operandi which is going on involving all concern for continuation of facilitating illegal mining and illegal transportation,” the Opposition leader added.

He also said that if there were 34000 MT coal and if it’s not there at the moment either it has been illegally transported without paying the royalty to the government or the coal was not there in the first instance.

“It is interesting to see that that for 34000 MT the challans have been issued, by the Directorate of Mineral Resources and it is also interesting that the route indicated is from Nengkhra-Nongstoin via Ri-Bhoi, which is a long route, whereas the coal usually from here if it is to be transported, the nearest railway station is Jogigopha, and this is the usual trade route for all coal traders even from West Khasi Hills this is the preferred route,” Dr. Sangma said.