Bhubaneswar, October 10 (LocalWire): Production and supply at three coal mines under state-run Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) at Talcher were severely affected on Wednesday as nearby villagers resorted to agitation demanding employment.
According to MCL sources, residents of Ekdal village stopped mining and supply operations at the open cast mines of Jagannath, Bhubaneswari, and Ananta affecting over 1.1 lakh tonne per day to power plants across the country.
Sporadic strikes and bandhs in the mines across Talcher coalfields, along with the prolonged monsoon in the region this year had adversely impacted coal production and supply from MCL.
“Owing to the unfavourable socio-political situation and frequent stoppages, Talcher coalfield alone has registered a loss of 13 million tonne in coal production during the current financial year, with a negative growth of about 8% as compared to the same period during FY 2018-19,” an MCL official stated.
While demanding employment, which the MCL described as “beyond regulation”, the residents of Ekdal village mining and dispatch operations at Jagannath open cast project (OCP), Bhubaneswari OCP and Ananta OCP from the first shift at 5 a.m on Wednesday.
Ekdal village, along with nine other villages, were notified under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment Act, 1957 and compensation was accordingly given as on 6 January 2018.
Of the total Rs 34 crore-compensation, the company has already disbursed Rs 27 crore to the beneficiaries who have submitted their documents, sources said.
On the status of rehabilitation, the MCL sources said that 268 cases have been identified for employment and the company has been processing to give jobs to these people.
“The remaining 135 cases fall under category IV & V of Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy, 2006 of Odisha Government, and therefore are not eligible for employment. These people have resorted to illegal stoppage of mining operations,” sources said.
Meanwhile, the MCL is making efforts to solve the problems of 135 villagers through discussion and has convened a meeting.
“Though a meeting was organised at Jagannath Area headquarters following the strike notice, none of them turned up for discussion. They have instead resorted to stoppage of work causing an estimated loss of more than Rs 11 crore in a day,” the official claimed.