ANGUL: Lingaraj open cast coal mines under the command area of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), linked to the 3000 MW NTPC Kaniha plant, is facing closure due to problems in land availability.
To expand its mining operations, the company needs to dismantle a village pond acquired under Coal Bearing Act (CBA) but faces opposition from local villagers. Sources said the villagers want jobs first in lieu of their land.
According to official sources, the mine which is producing 35,000 tonne per day has become vertical due to want of expansion.
But, the authorities cannot dismantle the acquired village pond due to opposition from local villagers.
“The mine has become vertical and gradually becoming unsafe for extraction of coal. Some local villagers demand 12 jobs, which is not related to Lingaraj mine. If land is not available, the mine will be forced to shut down within a month,” said a colliery official.
The land is needed to expand the capacity to 45,000 per day, the official added.
Talcher Sub-Collector SB Mishra said, he was aware of the deadlock and is hopeful of a solution soon.