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Villagers stop 3 MCL mines in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Villagers forcibly closed all the three mines under Jagannath Area of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) at Talcher coalfields in Odisha’s Angul district on Wednesday, hampering production and supply of 1.1 lakh tonne coal to the power plants.

Residents of Ekdal village, demanding employment benefit beyond regulation, forcibly stopped coal mining and despatch operations at Jagannath OCP, Bhubaneswari OCP and Ananta OCP from the first shift at 5 AM.

With this closure of Jagannath OCP, Bhubaneswari OCP and Ananta OCP, production and supply of more than 1.1 lakh tonne coal to the thermal power plants in a day is being affected.

Ekdal village, along with nine other villages, was notified under CBA Act and the compensation was awarded as on January 6, 2018.

Of total awarded compensation of Rs 34 crore, Rs 27 crore have already been disbursed till now among the beneficiaries who have submitted their documents. 

While 268 eligible cases for employment are under process, rest 135 cases, which are coming under category IV & V of R&R Policy 2006 of the Government of Odisha, and therefore not eligible  for  employment, have resorted to illegal stoppage of mining operations.

Against the strike notice submitted by these 135 villagers, the company had invited for them for meeting at Jagannath Area HQs but none turned up and resorted stoppage of work causing an estimated loss of more than Rs 11 crore in a day.

Besides 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 unfavorable 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 8% as compared to same period previous fiscal 2018-19.