Bhubaneswar, Nov 21 (LocalWire) Coal crisis in western belts of Odisha has induced civic unrest as more than 40,000 people from Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Sundargarh took to the streets in protest of the step treatment meted out to regional industries by Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL).
According to reports, the movement was led by Jharsuguda Visthapita Sachetana Sangha on Wednesday and was joined in by people from all walks of life, including industrial workers from Jharsuguda.
Apprehensive of job loss and full/partial closure of factories, people from various social strata like project displaced families, civic outfits, NGOs and community joined the ‘dharna’ in front of MCL Chairman & Managing Director’s (CMD’s) office and demanded coal materialization for Odisha based industries on priority basis before the state’s coal is exported beyond state boundaries.
The core issues raised during the dharna was ‘Odisha’s Coal for Odisha First’.
Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kisore Das also joined the movement and submitted a memorandum to MCL CMD on behalf of the local populace and industries.
The memorandum outlines the operational stress that regional industries are undergoing due to coal crunch and demands urgent remedial measures on three key issues – Odisha’s coal for Odisha’s industries first, increased production from MCL and coal security for Odisha based industries.
The representatives also said that if the local industries are not given priority and assurance of coal security the movement will be taken up at state level till the demands are met.
In recent times many local industries have faced closure and lock outs due to acute shortage of coal.While the state industries are stressed out majority of the coal produced by MCL is getting diverted to IPP’s within and beyond state, said sources.
This has resulted in serious socio economic crisis leading to job losses due to industrial crisis in the region particularly.
Major industries like Vedanta, Hindalco, Bhusan and Jindal have also suffered on account of this that reflects in their output and performance, said the company sources.