Shillong: The Meghalaya High Court has ordered that no coal should be exported from any place in the state to Bangladesh without the authorities being satisfied as to the origin of the mineral and retaining copies of the relevant documents.

The court issued the order while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on May 2.

The move comes after documents revealed that a total of 1,74,725 metric tons of coal were exported to Bangladesh between December 2021 and May 2022.

The documents also showed that Jai Maa Coal Private Limited of Beltola, Guwahati was granted permission by the Mining and Geology Department of the Meghalaya government to export coal “originating from outside the State” through Gasuapara LCS.

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The court found that the Deputy Commissioner of South Garo Hills had modified the government order to allow transportation from December 7, 2021, to January 7, 2022.

However, the first condition in the order stipulated that vehicles carrying the coal “should possess the valid documents from the originating State as well as other valid documents…”

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The court sought more information on the origin of the coal exported by Jai Maa during the relevant period through Gasuapara LCS, both from the Gasuapara LCS authorities and from Jai Maa.

It also asked for verification by the State of Assam to indicate whether it was possible for Jai Maa to purchase such a quantity of coal from the alleged open market in Beltola, Assam, and whether, in fact, it was done.

The court directed both the State of Assam and the Gasuapara LCS authorities to respond to the queries and produce the relevant documents in their possession.

The move is expected to tighten the regulations on the export of coal from Meghalaya, which has been a contentious issue in recent years.

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