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Govt to set up CCTVs at coal exits

- NGT lays down guidelines

Shillong, Sept. 4: Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be installed at exit points for the transportation of the extracted coal from mining districts of Meghalaya.

Today, Meghalaya principal secretary (mining and geology) Y. Tshering issued a notification after the committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had laid down the guidelines for the transportation of the extracted coal.

The green tribunal had on September 1 given its nod to the transportation of the extracted coal subject to strict adherence to the committee’s guidelines.

The committee had carried out an assessment of the extracted coal in East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills, East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, West Garo Hills, East Garo Hills and South Garo Hills districts.

However, the assessment in the West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills is still in progress, as the work had been affected because of adverse weather conditions.

On the whole, including the assessment, completed in the West Khasi Hills and South Garo Hills, the amount of extracted coal has been pegged at 65,81,147MT.

The total quantity of coal declared by mineowners initially and the fresh stock found/declared during inspection in the eight mining districts was put at 136,37,707MT.

In its recommendations, the committee said the state government might now, in its discretion, issue notifications permitting the transportation of coal from the six districts subject to strict adherence to the guidelines.

“To ensure proper recording of weight of coal loaded truck wherever weight is quantified by volumetric method, CCTVs shall be installed at the exit points from multiple angles,” Tshering said in the notification.

All coal-laden trucks will have to pass through one of the nine designated exit points of the state manned by DMR staff.

The exit points are Dainadubi in North Garo Hills district, Umling in Ri Bhoi district, Garampani in West Jaintia Hills district, Umkiang in East Jaintia Hills district (all exiting to Assam), Dawki in East Khasi hills district, Borsora in South West Khasi Hills, Cherragoan in South West Khasi Hills, Bagli in South West Khasi Hills and Dalu in West Garo Hills (all exiting to Bangladesh).

There are two more exit points: at Athiabari, West Khasi Hills district (to Assam) and Gasuapara, South Garo Hills District (to Bangladesh). These two exit points can also be used after transportation of coal from West Khasi Hills district and South Garo Hills district gets clearance.

With effect from today, the notification stated that seven working days are allowed for preparatory work of printing of requisite forms and issue of orders detailing modalities for collection of royalty and issue of transport permit.

On expiry of seven working days, 14 working days are allowed for payment of royalty by all coalmine owners.

On the following day after collection of royalty, the director of mineral resources shall notify the date for starting issue of transport permit. The NGT has given three months time to transport the extracted coal.


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