Opposition Congress legislator Dr Celestine flays Meghalaya govt over illegal coal trucks

March 22, 2023 by MT Bureau

Staff Reporter

Shillong, March 21: Opposition Congress legislator from Umsning Dr Celestine Lyngdoh questioned the failure of the state police to detect illegal coal trucks.

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"If our police are so efficient in detecting small amounts of drugs I fail to understand why they fail to detect a 16-wheeler truck (carrying illegal coal)," Lyngdoh told the Assembly.

"Can we ask do the police want to be selective (as in which area they want to be efficient)? If they are efficient in every area they are posted, I still fail to understand why big trucks cannot be detected?" he said.

Lyngdoh also sought to know the revenue collected from coal during the last year and said, "I urge the government to start scientific mining of coal in the interest of the state."

Stating that he is not against the coal merchants, the Congress leader said, "I salute them. At a time when the state is facing a lot of employment issues, we are happy that certain groups of people managed to do some mining activities and provide some sort of employment but then the question has to be answered can we continue this, can we allow a group of people do illegal business at the cost of the state?"

Citing that his constituency is located along the national highway, Lyngdoh said, "If the government say there is no illegal mining it will be very difficult for me and my people to say there is no transportation of coal as we see it every day. But the question is how many of those trucks are illegal and how many are legal."

With regards to the border issue, Lyngdoh said there are six more remaining areas of difference.

He said that much has been learned from the first phase of border talks while alleging that the government had given a fish pond at Maikhuli which was never an area of difference, to Assam.

Lyngdoh sad, therefore, the government should exchange only areas of difference but not to land which are never under dispute.

Meanwhile, the Congress leader urged the Speaker not to allow such incidents as yesterday to take place in the House where four legislators of the VPP had to stage of a walkout in protest against the Governor for addressing in Hindi.

"Since the BJP is in the union government, I request through you that when they appoint a governor, he should have a working knowledge of English when posted in Meghalaya," he added.