Bhubaneswar: Coal production and dispatch was severely hit in three mines under the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) at Talcher coalfields in Angul district due to agitation by local people, Wednesday. They were demanding employment in the MCL, a company official stated.
The agitation hampered production and supply of 1.1 lakh tonne of coal a day to different power plants across the country, the official informed. He added that apart from prolonged monsoon, the sporadic strikes and bandhs in the mines across Talcher coalfields this year have deterred coal production and supply from MCL.
“Owing to unfavourable socio-political situation and frequent stoppages, Talcher coalfields alone has registered a loss of 13 million tonne in coal production during the current financial year, with a negative growth of about eight per cent as compared to the same period previous fiscal 2018-19,” the official stated.
While demanding employment which the MCL described as ‘beyond regulation’, the residents of Ekdal village forcibly stopped coal mining and dispatch operations at Jagannath OCP (open cast project), Bhubaneswari OCP and Ananta OCP from the first shift at 5.00am, Wednesday.
With the closure of three mines, production and supply of more than 1.1 lakh tonne coal to the thermal power plants in a day is affected, the official said.
It should be stated here that Ekdal village, along with nine other villages, was notified under CBA Act (The Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment Act, 1957) and the compensation was awarded as on January 6, 2018.
Of the total Rs 34 crore awarded compensation, Rs 27 crore has already been disbursed so far among the beneficiaries who have submitted their documents, the official informed.
On the status of rehabilitation, the MCL official said 268 cases have been identified for employment and the company has been processing to give jobs to these people.
However, the remaining 135 cases, which are coming under category IV & V of R&R (Resettlement and Rehabilitation) Policy, 2006 of Odisha Government, and therefore not eligible for employment, have resorted to ‘illegal” stoppage of mining operations’, stated the official.
PNN & Agencies