ROURKELA: Iron ore mines of SAIL at Barsuan and Kalta in Bonai sub-division have been closed by the Forest Department for lack of forest clearance. Bonai DFO A K Mishra said the two mines were closed on March 8 on expiry of the Stage-1 clearance. He said the State Government has sent appropriate recommendations on February 27 to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to grant a year extension under Stage-1 compliance.
As a result, over 4,500 casual workers of both the mines have been rendered jobless.
The CITU-affiliated United Mines Mazdoor Union (UMMU) on Friday staged a demonstration in front of the offices of the mines demanding early restoration of production. A meeting was also held in the presence of Regional Labour Commissioner P K Panigrahi, company officials and senior CITU leaders. It was decided that the casual as well as regular workers would get all benefits during closure of the mines. Forest officials said appropriate recommendations have been made to the Union Ministry to grant one-year extension against Stage-1 compliance which would automatically pave way for Stage-2 clearance which will be for a longer term.