BOKAJAN, Nov 26: All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) Monday criticised HAD minister Sum Ronghang, who is also holding the charge of mines and minerals department, for his mysterious silence over the illegal coal mining going on unabated in various parts of Karbi Anglong.
“The illegal mining is going on unabated in Disobai area under Diphu assembly constituency, Koilamati and Koilajan area under Bokajan constituency under the very nose of the police and district administration. Dozens of excavators are engaged to carry this illegal practice threatening the ecological balance and the rare floral diversity in forests of Karbi Anglong,” organising secretary Bedanta Saikia told reporters here on Monday.
He recalled that MLA Dr Numal Momin accompanied by a team of police, magistrate and forest officials conducting raids in an illegal mining site under Nambor Reserve Forest along the bank of River Nambor in January, last. Over 1,000 cubic metre of illegally extracted soft coal was confiscated in the raid, he said.
“An inquiry into the matter was also instituted at the directive of the state government after a voice clip involving illegal coal mining and a BJP MAC of KAAC went viral in social media. However, the inquiry report was not made public for reasons best known to them,” Saikia also said.
“The coal mafias have obtained a settlement order for lifting the confiscated consignment of coal. Taking advantage of this order, the coal mafias have allegedly stated excavation and mining in the Nambor Reserve Forest and piling up the stock as the settlement order already provides the smugglers a kind of legitimacy for transporting coal from the mining sites to onward destinations”, Saikia further said.
“We have raised the issue against this illegal practice several times in the past. However, neither the forest department nor the competent authority of mines & minerals have taken any step to check illegal mining,” Saikia further said.
“The coal syndicate in Karbi Anglong has led to loss of revenue of the government to the tune of several crore of rupees each year,” he added.