CM denies any illegal transportation of coal taking place in Meghalaya

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Brushing aside BJP’s allegation of illegal transportation of coal in the state, the Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, “For the BJP and any other party to make this allegation based on statements like this, I think it is acting very irresponsibly.”

The Chief Minister also categorically denied any CBI inquiry into the matter, stating the CBI is not an agency that can be just called and use for anything that one would want.
“I think it is easy for anybody to come up and say CBI inquiry… see the government has to act responsibly and practically,” the Chief Minister. Further added, “Obviously if there is some base, some concerns, some issues that are genuine and valid then CBI is not an agency that can be just called and use for anything that one would want, so there has to be a systematic way, this has to be the approach.”

“Therefore, if there are any issues, definitely we are going to look into it, but I don’t think there are allegations which have any kind of base right now,“ the CM said.
Earlier, Meghalaya BJP demanded the Power Minister, James K Sangma should be immediately arrested, if he is involved in the illegal transportation of coal.

However, denying any role of the cabinet Minister James Sangma’s who happens to be the sibling of the Chief Minister, Conrad said, “The allegations are very easy to make, I have been very clear that we are very strict about this, I have taken a personal interest in this and ensuring that police have been told time and again to ensure that no activity takes place, we have given very clear and strict instruction to all departments and different agencies within our system to ensure that no such movement takes place.”

He said, “It is wrong for media houses or individuals to see a movement and say yes this coal truck must be illegal, there has to be some kind of base to do this.”
He further said the Government is in the process of setting up integrated check gates that will have different technologies like the weight in motion, CCTV cameras, which is mandated by the Supreme Court and the NGT for any kind of future movement.
“So these kinds of activities, the measures and the technology are being implemented shows we are very serious about this issue, and we want to ensure that none of such activity takes place,” he said.
“We have regular meetings with the police department, as well as with the deputy commissioners of different districts, with the transport, the mining and other departments to ensure that this kind of illegal movements are not allowed and even in future we ensure to put up strict measures are going to be taken,” the chief minister added.

Stating that the Government is ensuring any movement that takes place should be with proper valid documents, Conrad Sangma said, “These allegations are completely baseless.”

“We were very clear from the beginning that no such activity is allowed as any movement that takes place on the highway, people think it is coal movement,” Sangma said. He added, “When people see a coal truck, they think it is always illegal. I think that kind of mindset needs to change. Just because a truck is a movement, people seem to jump into the conclusion that it must be an illegal movement that is taking place.”