Tura(Meghalaya) , July 7: Meghalaya seems to be on the brink of lawlessness, if not already there if the illegal transport of coal from Nongalbibra to Gasuapara is anything to go by.
Social activist, Nilbath Ch Marak, a resident of Williamnagar, yesterday, July 6, filed a FIR at the Nongalbibra PS under South Garo Hills (SGH) stating that the entire operation of coal movement was farcical and illegal while pointing to a nexus between some Assam based coal traders and the high end political players.
He is the fourth person to file a police complaint despite which the coal trucks have moved allegedly on orders from the top.
So where is the coal coming from? As per eye witnesses, coal which was mined in the Nongalbibra areas is being loaded within thousands of trucks that have been lining the NH – 62. Videos of the trucks and their movement have gone viral on social media leading many to question the lawless nature of the act.
The trucks apparently have been using e-way bills to move but these have not been checked.
“If the coal is coming from Assam where have the trucks been entered into record. Dainadubi has recorded zero coal trucks entering while there has been record of these trucks coming through any other route. This is the height of lawlessness and our state has never seen such acts in the past,” said Nilbath.
A visit to the port of Gasuapara revealed more of the muck. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an official from DMR revealed that they have been forbidden from checking the illegally plying coal trucks. When they resisted, they were threatened with dire consequences. They even went to the extent of filing a police complaint but had to skip it after pressure from the top.
The situation can be understood even better from the fact that after information of the illegal movement became known, a panicky DMR issued a notice to all concerned stating that the trucks needed to have all documents along with the e-way bill before being allowed to export. However since the month of January, no challans have been issued from the department showing fully that the business being done were illegal in nature.
What is even more interesting is the fact that despite the warning from DMR on the nature of coal, the entire order was fully ignored. The administration, over the excuse of stranded trucks, allowed the movement of trucks for 3 days. Further all the departments, meant to ensure legal coal movement were asked to not disturb the trucks through checks.
“What exactly is the government trying to prove in this case? How can they allow such illegal acts to be undertaken when the entire fracas is so openly known? Can’t believe that this is happening and that too supported fully by a docile administration? These strong arm tactics cannot carry on,” said a resident of Nongalbibra on condition of anonymity.
Many from the region now fear that what transpired from Jul 4-6 was just a trial run and could be a precursor to more such acts in the coming months.
“There have been 5 FIRs filed on the illegal coal transport and many more are waiting to complain. Some complaints have not even been registered. What is worrying is that despite the complaints, no investigation is being undertaken. These indicators are not good for the state,” added the Nongal resident.