Mahanadi Coalfields supply affected by agitations

Bhubaneswar: The coal supplies from Talcher and IB valley collieries under the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) in Odisha were severely hit due to the ongoing agitations by local people demanding employment, an official said.

At least 60,000 tonnes of coal could not be supplied to various consumers from Balram open cast project (OCP) at Hingula area in Talcher coalfields due to the “illegal” stoppages by the residents of Danara village since 6 October, the MCL official said.

“Major consumers including NALCO, JITPL, JSPL, BSL, SPCL, GMR and others were affected due to the stoppages of coal dispatch from Solada stock by Danara villagers and Balram Truck Association,” the official said. The villagers on Thursday had also stopped the work of over burden removal at Mahalakshmi outsourcing patch of Balram OCP. Due to the obstruction, the work of overburden removal of about 30,000 to 35,000 CuM (cubic metre) is being disrupted per day, resulting to 20,000 tonne less coal exposure daily, the official said.

Coal dispatch of around 15,000 tonnes is also affected due to which MCL has been losing around Rs 1.47 crore of revenue directly while the government exchequer is losing Rs 20.58 lakh per day. Similarly, the residents of Ubuda village on Friday stopped mining operations at a mine of Lakhanpur OCP of Ib Valley Coalfields in Jharsuguda district, demanding employment. The MCL, however, said the villagers’ demand of employment was “beyond R&R (resettlement and rehabilitation) Policy” of the state government.

“The Ubuda village residents were provided due compensation and employment as per R&R Policy of Odisha earlier and they are now demanding subsequent employment for their children as well as the land less people residing there,” the official said. The Lakhanpur OCP is supposed to produce around 65,000 tonne of coal daily but it has now come down to 26,000 tonnes due to disturbances. The state owned Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) is one of the major consumers of coal from Lakhanpur OCP.