Meghalaya Smuggles Coal to Karbi Anglong

An organized group of illegal coal mafia involved in mining in Meghalaya has found a new route to smuggle coal through Assam with active participation of their counterparts in Western Karbi Anglong.

Khanduli being the entry point to Hamren subdivision of Karbi Anglong district from Jowai district of Meghalaya, the long route to Guwahati and other destinations begins from here.

According to Hamren Forest department officials, who seized a number of Meghalaya trucks loaded with coal, the coal operators are using the high altitude zigzag road from Khanduli to Hamren then to Baithalangso and then entering the plains of Nagaon district through egress of Amsoi and Neli flanking national highway 37.

The sudden acceleration of coal smuggling began after a blanket ban imposed on coal mining by National Green Tribunal a statutory body on environment and forest from April 17, 2014. The ban was imposed in response to a petition filed by All Dimasa Students Union. In spite of the official ban illegal mining continued and the smugglers embark on with new route to vend their produce.

Convoys of trucks laden with coal roll down from the Meghalaya border and pass through hundreds of kilometres all the way through Hamren subdivision before hitting the national highway, crossing through various checkpoints.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.