Shillong(Meghalaya), Feb 7: Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Dr Mukul Sangma has alleged that the state government has created a cartel to run the illegal transportation of coal in Meghalaya.
“There is a cartel which has been created to engage in irregularities depriving the State and the Autonomous District Councils of scarce resources and vitiating the environment and bringing a bad name to the State,” Dr Sangma said .
He also claimed that officers of the State government are being used as ‘pawns’.
“Now I am told that these officers are constantly told to follow the directives failing which they will be removed. It is an unacceptable, distressful precedence that has been created,” Dr Sangma said.
Dr Sangma’s statement comes after Chief Minister Conrad Sangma rubbished reports of illegal coal transportation in the State.
Meanwhile, he also challenged the Chief Minister to prove that there is no illegal transportation of coal.
“I have also seen the Chief Minister being in denial mode, at any point of time I suggest that the government provide its representative along with the media and independent bodies including other political parties to go and see what is happening at ground zero to substantiate his claim that there is no illegal mining going on,” he said.
Expressing his shame over the State government, Dr Sangma said that everyone knows what is happening.
Reiterating that a cartel to engage in irregularities and corruption pertaining to coal mining was at work, he pointed out to a complaint posted with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), pertaining to the manner in which a new way has been devised to ultimately facilitate illegal mining and transportation.
Dr Sangma was referring to the process of seizing unclaimed coal where he said that the modus operandi is that the cartel members claim that there is unclaimed coal lying somewhere.
“They proceeded with the so-called public auction and one of the complainant states that they went and tried to verify where the unclaimed coal which is seized by the authorities is. He says that he could not though he tried to find the so-called unclaimed coal which has been seized,” the leader of opposition said.
“It is a serious allegation which means there is no coal but then there was auction,” the leader of opposition added.
Dr Sangma alleged that for the so-called ‘public auction’, notification is given around 15 days ahead, but actual publication in the print media is given just one day ahead of the actual auction date.
Slamming this procedure, Dr. Sangma said, “Is this the way to do public auction. Do they not known how public auction is done?”
In this backdrop, Dr. Sangma said that this is evidence of irregularities and the actual cartel that the government has created.
By Special arrangement with Highland Post