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Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma

Shillong: The Meghalaya government is serious about checking the illegal transportation of charcoal in the state, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said in the assembly on Wednesday.

For this, the Meghalaya Charcoal (Control of Production, Storage, Trade and Transport) Rules, 2008 has been amended in 2019, he said.

Under the new rules, the producers and stockists of charcoal are required to apply for registration to the Divisional Forest Officer concerned and renewal of such registration can be done after a period of one year with the prior approval of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

Sangma was replying to a call attention motion moved by United Democratic Party MLA Mayralborn Syiem who referred to a media report on the forest department unable to check the illegal transportation of charcoal in the northeastern state.

The chief minister said 95 metric tonnes of charcoal has been seized in the past five years and 23 cases have been registered for its illegal production, transport and storage, Sangma said.

Ferro alloys sector is one of the main consumers of charcoal.

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A sum of Rs 2.60 lakh has been realised as compounding fees besides the registration of 23 cases in Ri-Bhoi and West Khasi Hills districts in the past five years, Sangma said.

However, no case relating to illegal production of charcoal has been detected in either Reserved Forests or Protected Forests in the two districts, he said.

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