TALCHER: Barely a few hours after work at Talcher coalfield resumed on Wednesday with BJP calling off the seven-day-long strike, production in all the mines was again brought to a halt, this time by locals.
The protestors were demanding compensation to the families of those who died or were injured in July 23 mine mishap at Bharatpur besides job to a family member. All the nine coal mines located at Talcher and Kaniha have been shut down for the seventh day.
Earlier in the day, BJP had called off its strike following assurances by MCL and district administration to address their demands. Their demands include safety measures for workers in the mines, uniform policy on compensation for injured and dead in mine mishap, a high-level inquiry into the recent mishap and adequate compensation for the kin of deceased and injured in Bharatpur mishap.
Speaking to media persons here BJP State secretary Kalandi Samal said the district administration and MCL accepted all their demands. According to sources some other groups attending the meeting demanded Rs 3 crore to the kin of deceased and permanent job in MCL to a family member, among others.
However, when the work had resumed around 4.30 pm, some local villagers reached the coalfield and stopped all the work. Though it is being said that BJD has the initiated the fresh strike, local BJD leader Muralidhar Sahu has denied the charge.
Meanwhile, alarm bells have started ringing at the power stations located around Talcher. The 3000 MW NTPC power plant may shut down in three to four days with the stock plummeting to record low of 20,000 tonnes against 7 lakh tonne. The plant supplies power to 17 States, including Odisha. Meanwhile, rescue operation at the accident site in Bharatpur mine is on to find the fourth body still trapped in the debris. Angul Collector Manoj Kumar Mahanty said, “a series of meetings were held on Wednesday and the issues raised by BJP were resolved. Another strike has been launched by villagers. We are closely monitoring the situation.”