After the coal over burden dump mishap, the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) has ruled out violation of mine safety norms while State Government officials refuse to fix the responsibility on the ground that investigation is underway.
Partial collapse of the over burden coal dump along the Kulda open cast mine under Basundhara-Garjanbahal (B-G) area of MCL at Hemgir block led to death of 10 persons.
Deputy Director of Mines Safety PK Kundu, who visited the area, refused to comment on violation of mines safety norms. He said the norms violation aspect is under investigation and office of the Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) would submit a report soon.
Sundargarh Collector Bhupinder Singh Punia said the administration is waiting for the inquiry report by the RDC (northern range) to take follow up action. Deputy Director of Mines (DDM) Jaidev Das said his department has no say on matter of safety and mining plan as the DGMS and the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) are appropriate authorities.
Alleging that safety norms were violated at the mines of MCL with impunity, RTI activist Pradip Mohanty said MCL has no alternative dumping space and continuous dumping of over burden has raised the existing dump yard to dangerous level.
He said less than three weeks back, a team from the DGMS regional office in Jharkhand had visited the area.
However, MCL authorities claimed the height of the over burden dump was well within prescribed limits.
Regretting the loss of lives, Vinayak DNS Jamwal, Assistant Manager (PR), MCL claimed that the public sector company stringently follows the statutory norms for mining activities.
Steering clear of charges, he said of the total 272 Project Affected Families (PAFs) eligible for resettlement benefits, as many as 187 were found eligible and 170 were entitled for employment or cash in lieu of employment.
While seven cases of PAFs for employment are lying with the district administration for vetting, the remaining 10 PAFs have so far failed to submit necessary documents.
Sundargarh SP Sanjeev Arora said the death toll is pegged at 10. Police said a case has been registered against the MCL authorities.
■ Partial collapse of the over burden coal dump along the Kulda open cast mine under Basundhara-Garjanbahal (B-G) area of MCL at Hemgir block led to death of 10 persons
■ Sundargarh Collector Bhupinder Singh Punia said the administration is waiting for the inquiry report by the RDC (northern range) to take follow up action.