Talcher: Coal extraction and transportation from MCL-owned mines here came to a grinding halt after truckers resorted to an economic blockade Thursday.
The vehicles owned by the Talcher Truck Owners’ Association remained off roads while the truckers staged a rail roko at Dera over-bridge in support of their demands. The strike has resulted in loss over several crores for the Centre and state government.
The agitation paralysed coal extraction and transportations from all seven MCL owned mines – Hingula, Balaram, Jagannath, Lingaraj, Bhubaneshwari, Bharatpur and Ananta. It has also rendered over 2,000 youths jobless.
The strike also disrupted coal transportation to NTPC-owned thermal power plant at Kaniha, Nalco and Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) which need coal from these mines to run their units and for power production.
The MCL-owned mines have hired 5,000 trucks owned by Talcher Truck Owners’ Association for coal transportation.
As per an earlier decision, the truck owners staged the strike by abstaining from transportation. The truck owners have alleged the quantity of coal which the trucks get as loads is being reduced everyday for which several trucks were lying idle.
The truck owners apprehended that if things continue at this rate then the coal transportation in trucks will come to end by January. This has hit the truck owners hard. They had submitted a memorandum to the administration November 16 warning of a strike from November 22 if their demands were not addressed.
However, the administration did nothing to address their demands following which they launched their strike, truck owners Khirod Sahu, Rajkishore Sahu and Muralidhar Sahu, Hrudaya Pradhan and Prasanna Mishra alleged.
Sources said over 40-50 rakes of coal are daily transported in railway wagons and an equal amount on road routes. The MCL-owned mines in Talcher coalfields daily produce two lakh tonnes of coal and transport the same through road and rail routes to various destinations.
According to latest reports, the Collector called a meeting of truck owners at the collectorate but the issue remained unresolved.
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