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Cong MP accuses Assam CM of complicity in illegal coal mining

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 18, 2019  | 19:41 IST

New Delhi, Oct 18 (PTI) Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi on Friday alleged that illegal coal mining has been going on in Assam and accused Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of complicity in the "wrongful act". Bordoloi alleged that rat-hole coal mining has been going on in Assam's Tinsukia district, which is known for its rich natural resources and vast rainforests. "Coal India Limited sends all its coal through trains. But hundreds of trucks loaded with coal leave Tinsukia every day. That means all coal being transported through trucks are illegally mined," he said at a press conference here. The MP claimed that such illegal activities can not be carried out without the chief minister's support. "The chief minister visits Tinsukia twice every month. I want to know what is the reason," he said. Bordoloi challenged the chief minister to conduct an independent inquiry through domain experts and journalists into the illegal coal mining at Patkai hills in Tinsukia. "I demand that there should be an inquiry by a third party," he said. Tinsukia is located on the eastern fringes of Assam and is home to the most substantial coal reserves. The North Eastern Coal Fields, a unit of the state-owned Coal India Limited, has exclusive mining rights to these reserves. Rat-hole mining technique entails digging small vertical pits to reach the mineral. PTI ACB IJT

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