SHILLONG: The Meghalaya government and Coal India Limited (CIL) has accepted the suggestions made by the Meghalaya high court-appointed committee headed by justice (retired) BP Katakey.

Both Meghalaya government and CIL accepted the revised comprehensive plan for transportation and auction of previously-mined coal in the state, as suggested by the Katakey committee.

The Meghalaya high court on April 19 had appointed justice (retired) BP Katakey amidst allegations that coal continues to be extracted illegally and transported and to ascertain whether the state government has complied with the directives of the Supreme Court as well as of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to curb down on illegal coal mining.

The full bench of the Meghalaya high court had also directed Katakey to recommend the Meghalaya government the measures for assessment, auction and transportation of extracted coal.

“The Meghalaya government and Coal India Limited have accepted the revised comprehensive plan put forth by me for the transportation and auction of previously-mined coal in the state,” Katakey told UNI over the phone on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the one-man panel held a meeting with senior officials from the Meghalaya government and CIL.

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“At least this is a positive step I could take as the comprehensive plan has been finalised which would be notified by the Meghalaya government in a short period of time is what was assured to me,” he said.

In the revised comprehensive plan, Katakey said that he has emphasised particularly how the transportation of coal is to be carried out, how the challan will be prepared and what features will be there in the challan.

“Due to allegations on the multiple re-use of the same challan in transportation of coal, I have suggested the government to introduce a digitised challan using QR code and to install a GPS system to track the movement of the coal-laden trucks,” he said.

Moreover, he said the name of the owner and driver of the truck, and the route by which the truck will go has to be mentioned in the challan.

“Every truck must move through a designated route till the border except those carrying coal that is permitted to be sold within the state for domestic requirement,” he said.

Katakey said that the process to ascertain the exact quantity of previously-mined coal in the state before the 2014 NGT ban was imposed, is almost completed in South West Khasi Hills district and South Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.

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