Coal Saga II

Published: June 2,2022 05:55 PM

Story highlights

Rat hole mining in Meghalaya is an open secret but what is shocking is that the entire Meghalaya government machinery is silent about it.

June 2, 2022: DY365 have been proved correct about the news of the big coal scam happening in Meghalaya. Several media reports have followed the stories done by DY365 and raised the issue of illegal coal transportation and illegal coke plants business that is going on in Meghalaya.  

Rat hole mining in Meghalaya is an open secret but what is shocking is that the entire Meghalaya government machinery is silent about it. Why is Conrad Sangma-led Meghalaya government silent? Why is Conrad Sangma government not taking any action? Is the Meghalaya Chief Minister and his team under some pressure? What is their interest in letting the illegal coal trade flourish? Are they in any way connected to this big black coal scam? These are some of the questions that every Khasi, Jaintia, Garo, every Meghalaya local is asking. 

DY365 has shown how Balwant Soni alias Bhama has been instrumental in generating and using fake bills for the procurement and use of illegally mined Meghalaya coal. Bhama, an outsider’s revenues shot from just Rs 3.50 lakhs in 2016 to over Rs 100 crores in 2019, in just 3 years. Papers of coal inputs shown from Dhanbad and other places are nothing but fictitious and fake. These false documents have been used to transport coal from Meghalaya to Bangladesh via the Gasuapapra land custom station.  No toll slips are available for the thousands of trucks said to have been carrying coal from outside Meghalaya. The fake bill scam is not less than Rs 5,000 crore. 
The West Bengal government has confirmed that they never allow coal from other states to go to northeast  this has never happened because  coal is transported from northeast to rest of india and not vice versa, except for some cement plants and brick kilns who use genuine documents for import of coal. 

The big questions then, how are these trucks getting a thoroughfare? How are these trucks passing the check posts so easily? Who is allowing this to happen? Why does the mineral department have no checks and balances? What is the Directorate of Mineral Resources (DMR) doing? What is the Mining & Geology Department doing?


Recently The Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGI) raided the office and godowns of coke mufacturers Dharmu and Sunil Bansal. The DGGI allegedly recovered around 3 crore rupees in cash and huge amount of false documents from the father-son duo where they were showing coal bills imported from outside northeast as raw material but in reality it is all just forged bills. No such coal came from outside Meghalaya to the factories for making of coke. It is the illegally mined coal of Meghalaya that is being used to make coke. During the raids the DGGI found the Bansals had illegally manufactured met coke over 20,000 tonnes worth over Rs 60 crores.

Interestingly,  a new twist has come to light. Over 100 illegal coke plants have been found to be operating without proper permissions. This shows how big, how deep the illegal coal mining and production industry has been set up right under the nose of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.  

It is a known secret that huge money is transacted for giving single window licence. 

The DGGI raid has proved beyond doubt that over Rs 60 crore of finished product is lying in the Bansals’ godown. Imagine if one industry has been growing illegally to such extent then what is the volume in the entire state. 

The photos of Conrad Sangma and the Bansals speaks volumes. It speaks much much more than meets the eye.  Questions are being asked about their coonection. Are they just acquaintances or is the mega illegal coal, coke business the connection. 

Questions are also being asked how are people like Bhama and the Bansals carrying on such big illegal businesses in Meghalaya?  With whose blessings, whose hand is behind Bhama and the Bansals? Outsiders are ruling the roost in Meghalaya. All business done by the Khasis and the locals is just for namesake.
Mawshynrut MLA Gigur Myrthong is controlling most of the coke industries operations giving them protection for which he is getting huge protection money and is involved in the illegal mining in a big way as the local MLA is responsible for this whole illegal coal mining and mushrooming of illegal coke  plants. 
The illegal coal mining seems to be unstoppable as the river flows from the top. 

All eyes are now on the court as Chief Minister Conrad Sangma seems to have failed miserably in controlling the flourishing illegal coal mining, transportation in his state. Court seems to be the only hope now.