SHILLONG: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday said that the State government legally cannot restrict transportation of coal from Assam to feed the cement plants in the State.
Various social organizations in East Jaintia Hills district are opposing transportation of coal from Assam.
Replying to a call attention moved by Opposition Congress legislator Process T Sawkmie, Sangma said the State government allowed transportation of coal which is lying at railway siding in Guwahati to three cement plants – Star Cement, Meghalaya Cements and Dalmia Cement Limited – in compliance with the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines.
Moreover, he said the MHA guidelines strictly say that there should be no restrictions on inter-State movement of goods and cargo.
"We also obtain essential goods from other States. Legally, we cannot restrict transportation of coal from Guwahati," the Chief Minister informed.
Furthermore, Sangma said that State government has prepared a plan for transportation and handing over of coal to Coal India Limited (CIL) for e-auction for supply of 2 lakh metric tonnes of extracted coal to cement plants in place of coal transportation from Assam.
"The plan has been approved by the National Green Tribunal appointed committee on March 12, 2020," he informed, adding that the NGT committee has approved auction of 2 lakh metric tonnes of extracted coal on a pilot basis, out of which 75,000 metric tonnes are for East Jaintia Hills district.
He said the coal will be auctioned by Coal India Limited and Metal Scrap Trading Corporation within the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Sangma said cement plants can purchase 2 lakh MT coal through auction if they have an agreement or understanding with successful bidder or if they will participate in the auction.