Eleven days after the coal overburden dump yard mishap which claimed 11 lives at Kulda mine of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), normalcy was partially restored at its Basundhara-Garjanbahal (B-G) area under Hemgir block.
Even as coal production is yet to begin at Kulda open cast mine, dispatch of coal by road and rail from Basundhara open cast project began on Wednesday afternoon after initiatives from various stakeholders.
The impasse was partially resolved following a meeting of MCL, district administration, police, the agitators and truck operators.
Hemgir Zilla Parishad member of Congress Rabiratna Patel claimed that the MCL has assured of taking up the demand to raise compensation amount for bereaved families from `3 lakh to `25 lakh with CIL and Coal Ministry, offer jobs as security guards to the victims’ family members and resolve pending issues of remaining land oustees of Balinga village.
Patel claimed that the block administration has also assured to rehabilitate those families living on Government land near the mines.
MCL’s B-G Area General Manager AK Singh said production at the Basundhara mines resumed on Sunday and dispatch of coal begun from Wednesday noon. With this, the ongoing stir by the Congress activists in front of the Kulda project office has been called off.
Sundargarh Congress MLA Yogesh Singh had participated in the stir for a week. The MCL has also promised to continue the search operation till recovery of the two identified missing villagers from the dump.
On August 10 morning, 13 villagers digging coal remnants at the base of the dump were trapped and so far 11 bodies have been retrieved.