NGT Committee to deliberate on policy to auction Meghalaya’s coal

Shillong, Aug 14: The Meghalaya government will soon place the policy for auctioning and transportation of coal in compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling before the Cabinet for its necessary consideration.

This was informed by the Chairman of the National Green Tribunal (NGT)  Committee retired Justice, BP Katakey after a review meeting in Shillong on Wednesday.

“The formulation of policy by the state government is in progress and they (government representatives) said already departmental feedbacks have been given and the matter will be placed before the cabinet for a final decision,” Katakey said.

Stating that the cabinet approval is necessary, he said as soon as the policy decision is taken, the same would be placed before the NGT committee to discuss it with representatives of the government and the Coal India Limited.

Katakey informed that the matter will also be deliberated in a special meeting to be held in Guwahati, Assam on September 7.

According to him, the Coal India Limited has informed that they would be going e-auction for auctioning of the over 32 lakh tons of coal.

The committee in its meeting held earlier had also asked the cement factories and power plants to furnish certain information on the amount of coal they had procured during the past five years.

Asked, the chairman said the cement factories and power plants have informed in their report submitted to the committee that apart from using coal as fuel, they are also using alternative fuel.

“We will scrutinize all the papers furnished to us including the environmental clearances given by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) because there may be certain conditions in the environmental clearance (EC) by the MoEF for use of the fuel,” he said.

“If it is only coal, then there is no permission for using the alternative fuel that will be one issue and if there is no such condition in the EC already granted the issue would be different. They have submitted the documents and based on the records maintained by the MoEF will take a decision,” he added.

Katakey also said that the Committee will be submitting a report (on the coal issue in Meghalaya) before the NGT on August 31, detailing what we have done so far and what is our impression about the matter.

Meanwhile, the chairman further informed that mapping of over 24,392 coal mines in the Jaintia Hills region have been done by the North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), which have already submitted a draft report to the committee.

“We will give a feedback on that within two-three days if any further improvement is required and they (NESAC) will incorporate and then give us the final report,” he said.

Katakey also reminded that the job of the committee is to monitor auctionn and transportation of coal.