Meghalaya should make strong SOP for coal transportation: Justice Katki (Rtd) | Latest News India

Shillong: Justice BP Katki (retd), who was appointed by the Meghalaya High Court to head a committee on transportation of coal, issued a directive to deal with illegal transportation of locally mined coal. Emphasized the need for revised and strengthened Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). out of state.

(Representative image)

After a meeting at the state secretariat on Friday, Justice Katki cited media reports alleging misuse of permits for non-local coal and expressed his commitment to curb such corruption.

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“I am proactively verifying these allegations so that a fool-proof SOP can be established as per the 2022 regulations of the state government.” Justice Kataki affirmed.

Stakeholders, including representatives of cement factories, ferroalloy plants, and coke oven factories, have been consulted and their written submissions are expected by next Monday, people familiar with the matter said. These inputs will inform the revision of the current SOP and subsequent notification of an updated version.

The committee's efforts are part of wider compliance with the directives of the National Green Tribunal, the Supreme Court, and the Meghalaya High Court, aimed at ensuring transparency in coal transportation practices. Justice Kataki highlighted the progress in shifting inventory coal to designated depots, with few exceptions pending ratification.

On the challenges faced in lifting the auctioned coal due to deteriorating market conditions due to monsoon, Justice Kataki recommended imposition of demurrage charges on those delaying the lifting of coal. The approach is aimed at meeting the costs incurred by the government, such as the rent of depot spaces and security personnel responsible for the safety of the coal.

“I have proposed to calculate the demurrage based on the size of the depot and the rental costs, ensuring fairness to the various locations,” explained Justice Kataki, unless it is taken up by the buyers. Emphasizing the government's responsibility for custody of inventoried coal, he said. He stressed that demurrage charges should be levied to prevent undue financial burden on the government for storage beyond the permissible period.

Looking ahead, Justice Kataki outlined plans to launch fresh auctions under the Supreme Court's directives, urging immediate action to effectively manage existing coal reserves. Their proactive stance reflects a concerted effort to maintain legal compliance and equitable practices in Meghalaya's coal sector, which is critical to environmental sustainability and regulatory integrity.

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