Lokayukta expresses satisfaction with measures taken by Govt. to stop illegal coal trade.

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The Meghalaya Lokayukta has expressed satisfaction with the measures taken by the state government to stop illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state.

 Hearing a complaint filed by the Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma, Chairperson of Meghalaya Lokayukta, PK Musahary has examined the communication from the Under Secretary in-charge Home (political) department which contains, amongst other, report on measures taken by the Secretary, Mining and Geology department to stop illegal coal mining and illegal coal transportation…

 “The report received from the Under Secretary in-charge Home (Political) department prima facie found to be satisfactory in as much as the chief secretary has indicated the action plan and action taken so far,” Musahary said in his order.

 During the hearing, the Lokayukta also perused the report submitted by the Investigating officer KS Lywait on February 25, in regard to the Khliehrangnah case.

 The case was registered as Jowai PS case No.69 (6) 2020 under section 188 IPC read with section 21 of MMDR Act, 1957, Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

 As per this report, the IO visited the places of occurrence, examined the headman of the area, and recorded his statement.

 The IO filed a petition in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jowai for auctioning the unclaimed coal stocked at Khliehrangnah to avoid any environmental hazard. The court has directed the IO to take up the matter with the DC, West Jaintia Hills District.

 It is revealed that the matter could not be preceded due to certain legal hurdles. The latest position as per this report is that the police had taken necessary steps on their part.

 The Lokayukta has also seen the report submitted by FD Sangma (Retd IPS), now Director of Inquiry, Meghalaya Lokayukta on February 19, regarding the dumping of illegal coal at Khliehrangnah and matter relating to the investigation.

 It has accordingly directed that photocopy of these reports be supplied to the government advocate S Sen for taking instructions and filing response if so advised.

 It may be mentioned here that the Leader of Opposition has alleged that illegal coal mining is still taking place in violation of the MMDR Act, 1957 and the complete violation of the NGT ban.