Chairman of the State Government Programme Implementation and Monitoring Committee (SGPI&MC) Saleng A. Sangma on Monday asked officials of the Mining and Geology department to take stern action against people who indulged in illegal selling of transport challans for transportation of extracted coal, and that they should furnish the list of miners or mine owners duly approved by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Saleng, who is the NCP legislator, issued this instruction during a review meeting chaired by him on the implementation of schemes of the Mining and Geology department in the state.
Various issues pertaining to the department were discussed in detail, and certain recommendations were made to improve the functioning of the department.
Expressing grave concerns over the illegal sale of transport challans for transportation of extracted coal, Saleng also directed officers of the Mining and Geology department to furnish the list of miners/mine owners, duly approved by the NGT in newspapers and on the department’s website.
“This would help genuine miners/mine owners see the status of issue of transport challans as well as to deter non miners/mine owners to take advantage of the system & illegally sell the transport challan at rates, much higher than the approved rates by the NGT,” Saleng told reporters after the review meeting.
According to Saleng, there are vested interests who are making money out of the selling of transport challans by selling it to other individuals including those people whose coal is yet to be assessed.
He also directed the Mining and Geology officials to take stern action against such people who illegally sell the transport challan, as per extant provisions of the law.
Saleng also wanted concrete action plan on usage of the District Mineral Fund (DMF) sanctioned at Rs. 23 crore for welfare and development activities for affected people in the mining areas.
“The Mining and Geology department needs to be strengthened to carry out their enforcement duties effectively, and plug leakages of revenue in the State,” he said.
As a policy decision, Directorate of Mineral Resources needs to bring Schedule III under their administrative control, which at present is regulated by Forest Department. It covers royalty on minor minerals like sand, stone, limestone for construction purposes, among others.
The State Geological Programming Board is looking into several approvals of Mining Plans in different areas of the State, and presently headed by the Commissioner and Secretary (Mining and Geology), needs to be broadly represented with different Govt. Departments and headed by Chief Secretary. The Proceedings of the Board should be approved by the Chief Minister through Minister-in-charge, Mining & geology department.