Shillong, April 16: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday informed the Meghalaya Assembly that the State Government had been proposing several measures to check the issue of counterfeit challans by unscrupulous coal transporters.
Replying to a call attention motion tabled by Congress MLA from Mawsynram Himalaya Shangpliang, on the reports of forged transport challans in circulation in East Garo Hills, Sangma said that the government would review and streamline the administrative processes and procedures currently in place for the issuance of the Mineral Transport Challans (MTCs).
“We’re mulling the introduction of enhanced security features apart from the hologram such as implementation of barcode with hologram, tamper evident hologram with DNA based with hand-held taggant detectors used for product authentication and verification of genuine product chemical, which would go a long way in improving the existing system,” the Chief Minister said.
According to him, the forged or counterfeit Mineral Transport Challans (MTCs) that are being used by unscrupulous coal transporters have become a cause of concern for the government.
Sangma also said that the government was aware of the magnitude of the problem and the impact of counterfeiting of MTCs in terms of loss of revenue to the State exchequer, emergence of profiteers and the scope for illegal coal activities.
Sangma also told the House that stringent measures have been taken from time to time to contain such malpractices.
He said the holograms have helped in the detection of fake challans.
“With the introduction of this security feature, a number of counterfeit challans have been detected as holograms are difficult to forge as they require expensive, specialized and technologically advanced equipment,” the Chief Minister said.
Sangma also informed the House that the staff and officers in charge of the check gates were well oriented with the security feature (in the challans) and also able to easily authenticate the genuineness of the MTCs, and in most cases are able to detect fake challans submitted by the coal transporters during spot checking at the check gates.
The Chief Minister also said necessary instructions have been issued to the field officers to remain vigilant against such practices and file FIRs immediately when such cases are detected.
Sangma assured the House that necessary enquiries would be conducted in this matter and exemplary action would also be taken against the defaulters.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also said that counterfeit challans had been detected in Dainadubi check gate, North Garo Hills, Mawpun Checkgate, West Khasi Hills, and Shangbangla check gate of Ri Bhoi District.
The Mines Royalty Inspector in charge of the respective check gates had filed complaints and FIR against the defaulters and cases had been registered against such culprits under relevant sections of the IPC.