Tura: In a first, a well-known businessman from Meghalaya‘s East Garo Hills won a Coal India auction in Jharkhand to export coal from Bokaro to Bangladesh via Meghalaya.

The first rake of coal measuring 3300 MT, dispatched from Bokaro on September 24, arrived at the Goalpara train station in Assam on Wednesday morning.

The rake consisted of a total of 53 containers with the coal, according to its owner Georgeman Marak, and will be moved to Bangladesh via various ports in Assam and Meghalaya.

Marak, a businessman from Williamnagar in East Garo Hills, is involved in various trades, including stones, and coal among others.

Marak’s move has been welcomed by importers from Bangladesh, who believe this will open a new avenue for business for both countries.

“Due to the problems of coal extraction in the state of Meghalaya, we had to move our focus to other countries to meet the demands of our industries. We imported coal from Australia, and Indonesia among others. However, the quality of the coal was not up to the mark. The quality of the coal from Jharkhand is good and will benefit many businessmen like us in Bangladesh,” said an SM Al Amin, an importer from Bangladesh, who was also there as part of a contingent of coal businessmen in Goalpara this morning.

Al Amin further extended his thanks to Marak and his friends for working on ways to ensure Bangladesh got good quality coal from India.

According to Marak, the consignment is the first of many that will enter the state in the coming months.

“We have been friends with importers from Bangladesh for decades. However, the ban on coal mining led to a stop in business between the two countries through various ports in Garo Hills. This has also led to a crisis of coal in Bangladesh which was earlier filled by us. This is an effort to mitigate that crisis and ensure smooth relations between us,” said George.

Marak informed that they were looking at various ports in Assam and Meghalaya, including Golokganj, Dalu and Gasuapara through which the coal they bought will be sent into Bangladesh.

He further felt that the move, the first possibly in the entire North East could be a game changer in the years to come.

“The coal was won through an auction that was held by Coal India Limited in Jharkhand. We have many more such consignments coming through in the next few months,” he asserted.  

Also read | Meghalaya: 33 years on, NEHU still keeps rightful dues from employees

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