Govt awaits NGT clearance to begin coal transportation

SHILLONG: The State Government is awaiting the nod from the National Green Tribunal to allow the transportation of extracted coal after the assessment report of coal extracted in six districts of the States was submitted to NGT on Friday, a day prior to the deadline.

The assessment for South Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills is yet to be carried out.

The Committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary K.S. Kropha assessed six million tons of already extracted coal which can be transported in the six districts.

An official, who is part of the Committee which submitted the report to NGT, said on Sunday that after an official nod from NGT, the Committee will issue direction to carry out transportation of the extracted coal.

“We have submitted the guidelines to be followed while transporting coal to the NGT in accordance with the Tribunal directions,” the official added.

As per the guidelines of NGT, the transportation of extracted coal should be carried out in a scientific way and the trucks should be fully covered to ensure that coal dust do not cause pollution.

Moreover, the State Government and all its authorities will have to fix weighing machines at all exit points from Meghalaya, particularly towards Assam and Bangladesh.

Other guidelines include ensuring safety of the transporters and the general public, besides taking care of environmental concerns. Two check-points en route transportation of the extracted coal from the point of loading to the point of destination are also necessary.

Besides, there should be a check point at the borders of Bangladesh and Assam.

Another guideline is that both the government and the coal miners will have to maintain records while transporting coal, and the transportation of extracted coal lying near the mines will be allowed only for a period of three months and NGT would consider extending the period or passing of such other directions at a subsequent stage.

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