Akhil accuses BJP MLA of illegal trade
Guwahati: The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) on Wednesday alleged that the BJP-led government in Assam was not taking action against "coal syndicate" as Bhaskar Sharma, the party's MLA from Margherita in Upper Assam, is involved in the illegal business.
"In a reply to our RTI application, Coal India Ltd said it permits only eight to 10 trucks to transport coal daily, but we have seen that 150 to 200 coal-laden trucks going out of the coalfields in Margherita everyday. A truck is allowed to carry maximum 10 tonnes of coal, but the trucks are carrying 20 to 25 tonnes. We have information that illegal coal business, ranging between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3 crore, is taking place daily. It comes to nearly Rs 2,000 crore of illegal coal business every year. The entire business is led by Sharma with the help of police officers there and in Guwahati," KMSS adviser Akhil Gogoi told reporters here.
Denying the allegations, Sharma told this correspondent that he was not associated with the coal business. "I had got some contracts for transportation and supply of labourers following tenders by the Coal India Ltd. I reject Akhil Gogoi's allegations. Our government is less than two years old and coal business is not new in Margherita. Many licences were given by earlier governments as well."
Citing an inquiry report of the CID that was submitted to the state home department on January 17 last year, Akhil said the report named involvement of police, a local politician and some officials of Coal India Ltd.
"The report said 70 to 75 trucks are illegally used for coal transportation although permissions were given for 10 to 15 trucks only. The Sarbananda Sonowal government is not taking action against the coal syndicate because an MLA of his party (Bhaskar Sharma) is running the syndicate. We demand that Sonowal take action against the illegal practice within48 hours as promised by him in his first cabinet meeting," Akhil said.