At least 250 cases of illegal coal transportation registered in Meghalaya, says CM Conrad
At least 250 cases of illegal transportation of coal have been registered in the state so far, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told the Assembly on Monday.
“Proper investigation into these cases is on, and the Government is serious about this issue. We will never allow such illegalities,” Sangma said.
“Since the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) took over in 2018, we enforced the Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulation)-MMDR Act,” he said.
“In the past few months, 95 arrests were made and 146 cases charge-sheeted,” he added.
In response to a question raised by Congress MLA Mohendro Rapsang during the ongoing budget session, Sangma said that based on inputs provided by the State Government, the Union Government replied to “Unstarred Question No. 656” in the Rajya Sabha.
“The Meghalaya Government has taken several measures to stop illegal coal mining to ensure no illegal mining of coal takes place in the State,” Sangma said.
The measures taken by the State Government, as provided to the Union Government, include:
1. Enforcing provisions of the MMDR Act, 1957, and registering cases under Section 21 of the Act against illegal coal mining.
2. The Authorised Officers have been notified by the Government under Section 21(4) of the MMDR Act, 1957, for seizing any mineral which has been mined or transported unlawfully along with vehicles, tools and equipment.
3. In exercise of the power conferred under Section 22 of the MMDR Act, 1957, officers are allowed to make written complaints before the Court for offences punishable under said Act.
4. Strict instructions have been passed to the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police to control illegal coal mining and enforce the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
5. The Government has been regularly issuing prohibitory orders to stop illegal coal mining.
When asked whether illegal mining is continuing in the State, Sangma said that all efforts are being made to stop any unlawful acts.