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Coal auction to be completed in State soon: Conrad

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Shillong, Nov 9: Meghalaya assembly on Monday saw a heated debate on coal mining, auctioning and transportation.

Independent MLA SK Sunn raised the question on whether coal mining operation in the state has begun, if mining leases have been given out and if not, how much revenue has the State lost since July 2019, when the apex court permitted coal mining operation in the State.

Responding to the question, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma stated that applications, in compliance of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 1957 and Mineral Concession Rules 1960 are being processed for authorizing the landowners to grant prospecting license.

Sangma in his reply quoted data from 2015 stating that 1.34 cr metric ton of unclaimed coal was declared by the previous govt which was then reduced to 95 lakh metric ton after an assessment by the National Green Tribunal.

On demand of reassessment, the govt declared 32 lakh MT which was then approved by the Supreme Court to be auctioned, the Chief Minister told the house. He also informed that his govt is trying to complete auctioning at the earliest but was delayed due to several procedures.

He also informed that an online portal for e-auctioning of coal has been launched, five depots in four districts are read, transportation of unclaimed coal to the two depots in East Jaintia Hills is ongoing and the transportation in other districts will start soon.

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