NHRC issues notice to Odisha on coal dump yard mishap

Cuttack: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to Odisha Government seeking a reply within four weeks on an application calling for an inquiry into the Kulda mine dump yard mishap in which 11 persons were killed.

The NHRC has asked the Odisha Chief Secretary to file the reply on the application filed by human rights activist and advocate Prabir Kumar Das.

Eleven persons were killed when a coal dump of the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited caved in near an open cast mine in Sundargarh district on August 10. Reports said the incident took place when some people were digging the dump yard in search of coal.

In his application, Das has alleged human rights violation in public sector unit claiming that it had not taken adequate preventive measures for the safety of the people.

Das said the MCL authorities were aware that many local residents enter the dump yard in search of coal to earn money risking their life.

"But the authorities never took any concrete measure to check it except putting a signboard saying the area beyond the signboard is prohibited for public," he said in his application, adding there should have been a boundary wall and security personnel around the dump yard.

The petitioner sought the intervention of the NHRC in initiating criminal proceedings against the officials whose negligence led to the mishap.