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Dilip Kumar

Jharsuguda: There is something to cheer about for the land oustees of coal mines in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh district as the Government of India has decided to set up a Coal Bearing Tribunal (CBT) at Jharsuguda to deal with the long-standing disputes related to payment and compensation of the land losers.

In a letter to the Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL), the Ministry of Coal informed that the part-time tribunal will work till September 30, 2022. The tribunal will be set up at Jharsuguda under section 14 (2) of CBA (A&D) Act 1957 with immediate effect, the letter stated. It will adjudicate the cases arising out of the dispute of payment and compensation of the land losers.

The district and Sessions Judge, Jharsuguda will work as ex-officio of the tribunal. "He/she will be entitled to an honorarium as applicable to other Part-time tribunals constituted under the provisions of section   14 (2) of CBA (A&D) Act 1957. Supporting staff will be deployed by MCL", the letter read.

The MCL has also been directed to bear the payment and salary of the presiding officer and other supporting staff of the tribunal. The office expenses will also be borne by the subsidiary of Coal India Ltd.

The Coal Ministry has further asked the Chairman cum Managing Director of MCL to do the needful for setting up and functioning of the part time tribunal in the western Odisha district.

Meanwhile, Bargarh MP (BJP) Suresh Pujari, who had raised demand in the Lok Sabha for a CBT at Jharsuguda, expressed pleasure and extended gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi over the fresh development.

In a tweet, Pujari stated "We will not have to cover a distance of 300 km."

“Only one coal bearing tribunal is functioning in Dhenkanal district at present where as maximum land oustees are from the three districts of Western Odisha. People from these areas rush to Dhenkanal which is always a difficult task for them involving a lot of financial burden. I had raised the issue in the Lok Sabha in November last year. I am grateful that the Government of India has accepted my demand." Pujari said.

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