ANGUL: Production and despatch of coal from mega mines of Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) at Talcher came to a grinding halt on Friday owing to the agitation by Hensmul villagers. They took the step as MCL failed to revoke the termination orders of 126 villagers which it had assured to do by July 10.
The two mines are Ananta and Bhubaneswari which together produce nearly one lakh tonne of coal per day, about one third coal output by coal company.
Of the total of 285 Hensmul villagers, who were provided job in the company besides other benefits as a compensation package against their land, 126 had refused to shift to the allotted site. As continuous persuasion by the State administration and the MCL authorities failed to yield any result, the company had served a final five-month notice to the employees last year.
In view of the continued violation of the appointment’s terms and conditions, jobs of 126 people were terminated in May as per the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee on Coal Mines. The company in a meeting with the villagers and the local administration on July 6 had agreed to revoke the termination orders by July 10.
MCL suffered a production loss of one lakh tonnes of the dry fuel as mining operations at the Ananta and Bhubaneswari open cast projects came to a halt.
In a release, MCL authorities stated that they might have to close down mining operations in the Jagannath area in wake of villagers refusing to vacate the land.
The company needs the land urgently to expand Bhubaneswari open cast project having the capacity of 25 MT annually, and meet the production target given to the mines under Jagannath area as it has almost excavated all coal from the existing location, the release read.
“Even if villagers do not disturb our operations, they continue to occupy their dwellings in Hensmul village located in the mining zone. The company will have no other option but to close down operations under Jagannath area by October or November as there will be no room left for mining in view of safety norms due to people’s presence in Hensmul. This may cost us 120 lakh tonnes of coal production during current financial year,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the District Collector, Sachin Ramachandra Jadav, has called a meeting of the project level advisory committee meeting on July 19 to find a solution to the problem.
FIGHT FOR JOBS
■ The villagers took the step as MCL failed to revoke the termination orders of 126 villagers which it had assured to do by July 10.
■ MCL has suffered a production loss of one lakh tonnes of the dry fuel as mining operations at the Ananta and Bhubaneswari open cast projects came to a halt
■ MCL might have to stop mining in Jagannath area in wake of the ongoing protests