MANGALDAI, April 8 - Traders involved in smuggling from the coal mining sites of Tinsukia district have recently shifted the route for transporting the illegal �black gold� from National Highway-37 to National Highway-15 via Kaliabor.
This was evident after a recent road accident as a truck loaded with an illegal consignment of coal sans any valid documents turned turtle on NH-15 at Kharupetia in Darrang district.
The driver of the truck, which was heavily loaded with coal and bearing registration number RJ 02 GB 7355 and coming from Jagun of Margherita in Tinsukia district and destined for Bihar, was immediately shifted to Guwahati in a critical condition.
In the meantime, the handyman of the truck was taken to Kharupetia Police Station. According to information available till the time of filing this report, the handyman failed to produce any valid document or permit for transporting the consignment.
Sources said that the government has allowed carrying of coal only from Coal India Ltd. However, it has often been alleged that most of the time the coal-laden trucks coming from Tinsukia try to convince the police intercepting them with some forged official documents, including invoices issued by Coal India Ltd and the GST payment receipt. An organised circle in Tinsukia has allegedly been managing a section of senior police officials.
Earlier in February, Superintendent of Police of Darrang Amrit Bhuyan acting against this illegal trade practice had seized six coal-laden trucks for their failure to produce the requisite papers, including valid invoice of Coal India Ltd with official seal and signature. This resulted in sudden withdrawal of these trucks from NH-15.
However, taking the opportunity of the busy schedule of the Darrang police in view of the ensuing general election, these gangs have restarted their practice via the national highway passing through Darrang district.