ANGUL: The production and despatch of coal from NTPC-linked Lingaraj coal mine at Talcher was paralysed on Saturday reportedly over the bandh called demanding engagement of local people as workers in the plant. Owing to the bandh, around 30,000 tonne of coal which is transported to the Kaniha Power Plant of NTPC on a daily basis, was also halted.
The protesters, under the banner of Kshyatigrasta Anchalika Sangha, alleged that the authorities of Lingaraj coal mine engage contractual workers from outside Talcher at their plant instead of recruiting local people. They said they had brought up the matter with the coal mine authorities several times in the past but to no avail. So they called for a bandh on the day.
Meanwhile, the general manager of Lingaraj Coal Mine Subrat Biswal said the strike is illegal and unwarranted. “Efforts are being made to engage local people as contractual workers. We are holding talks with the protesters hoping to come to an amicable solution but it has not yet been fruitful. I hope the strike ends soon,” he added.
Inspector in-charge of Talcher police station Digvijay Biswal said police are keeping a close vigil on the ongoing strike. While the strike was still underway till reports last came in, the mining authorities were seemingly worried over the huge financial loss incurred by the company as well as the state government due to the bandh.