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215 cases against illegal coal transporters

Shillong, Aug 23: A total of 215 cases have been registered since last year till date against persons involved in illegal transportation of coal in the State.
The cases have been registered under Section 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act, 1957).
From among these 215 cases registered since January 2019 to June 2020, 154 are still pending investigation, 56 have been charge-sheeted, and five have ended in Closure Report (CR).
Insofar as seizure of materials, tools and equipments are concerned action too has been taken under law.
This was informed by Ida Nongrang, Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) to the NGT committee headed by retired Justice B D Agarwal during the last meeting of the committee here.
Nongrang briefed the committee on the progress made by the Police Department in ensuring that persons involved in raising and transporting of around 80,000 tons of coal which has been seized by the Meghalaya Police are identified and action is taken against them as admissible under law.
Nongrang also briefed the NGT Committee on the efforts taken so far towards controlling illegal coal mining.
She said that 75 per cent of the 215 cases registered by police with respect to illegal coal mining, have been done suo motu by police.
The Additional Director General of Police also said that a dedicated helpline to prevent illegal mining and transportation of coal has been set up which has been functional since March 2020 and that a system for rewarding informers is also in place.
She stated that the police are also undertaking surveillance in remote areas in coordination with the Mining and Geology Department and that she would instruct the Superintendents of Police to take further necessary steps towards prevention of illegal coal mining.
Nongrang also stated that police have submitted information to the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) the details of persons involved in illegal mining and transportation of coal in respect of the districts of East Jaintia Hills, North Garo Hills, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills, and South West Khasi Hills districts.