MCL Resumes Operations At Talcher Coal Mines In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) on Wednesday said it has resumed mining operations at its Talcher mines after losing 2.5 lakh tonne of coal production and supply due to a stoppage by locals.

The mining activities at all the projects in Talcher coalfields were stopped on Wednesday “mostly by supporters” of local MLA B K Pradhan” after an eviction drive was conducted on government land at Naikshahi of Bhalugadia village, the miner said in a statement.

The mining operations, which were stopped in Talcher coalfields in the first shift following the eviction drive, have been resumed from Wednesday afternoon (second shift) after talks, the miner said.

MCL, a subsidiary of Coal India, said that the land was acquired by the company under Coal Bearing (Acquisition and Development) Act in 2007 and the locals were compensated as per Odisha’s Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2006.

Though they are demanding benefits which are beyond the scope of the policy, the miner claimed.

There were 41 families living at Naikshahi of Bhalugadia and 33 of them were provided complete compensation package, including employment in MCL, under the policy against their tenancy land in Bhalugadia village, a company spokesperson said.

The remaining eight families were landless and occupied the government land, he said.

However, MCL had sanctioned Rs 1.2 lakh as per Indira Awas Yojana for these landless families, along with Rs one lakh as relocation assistance, he said.

Local MLA B K Pradhan, on the other hand, said steps must be taken for “proper settlement” of the people and they should be given adequate compensation.

Rising demand for coal from the industry and constraint of space to operate at Hingula opencast project had necessitated the possession of the land.