BHUBANESWAR: Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder V G Siddhartha, whose shocking death has stirred controversy in the country, had deep business interests in Odisha that went beyond the popular cafe chain.
Along with the CCD outlets at several places in the State, another of Siddhartha-promoted company, Sical Logistics Ltd, is engaged in coal extraction and transportation to various sites of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). The multi-modal logistics company commanded a contract value of Rs 700 crore in the State.
The company has been doing surface mining of coal along with transportation and removal of overburden besides mining development and operation at MCL’s Bharatpur and Hingula open cast mines in Talcher belt. It was awarded a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) by Mahanandi Coalfields in 2017 for extraction of coal/coal measure strata by deploying surface miners on hiring basis, mechanical transfer of coal by pay loaders into tipping trucks and transportation to different destinations at Bharatpur.
The contract is for an extraction quantity of 41.01 million tonnes over a period of three years at a cost of Rs 288 crore. Similarly, the company had also received another LoA for coal extraction and transportation at Hingula mines in December last year. The contract is for extraction quantity of 26.72 million tonnes over a period of 36 months at a contracted value of Rs 363 crore.
Earlier, it had bagged a two-year contract, valued at Rs 50 crore for surface mining and transportation of six million tonnes of coal at Lajkura mines in the State. The company was also into coal beneficiation business and transportation of raw coal and washed coal from mining site at Talcher through road, rail and sea to the customer facility at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.
The Bharatpur mine of MCL was recently in news following the death of four workers in a coal strata collapse. Nine other workers were also injured in the mishap which took place during night mining activities carried out by Sical Logistics. Though Head of MCL’s Public Relations Dikken Mehra admitted that Sical Logistics was the contractor for the Bharatpur mine, he stated ignorance that it was owned by CCD Group.