Odisha administration’s action gives lease of life to Jagannath coal mine

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Talcher: Action taken by the Angul district administration to clear encroachments from a government land acquired long back by Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) for coal mining has given a new lease of life to the 6 MTY capacity Jagannath open cast mine in Talcher coalfields, which was counting days because of unavailability of land for mining due to illegal obstructions being put up by the vested interests.
For about last one year, Jagannath mine under MCL’s Jagannath Area was unable to advance due to illegal obstructions caused by illegal occupants of government land, causing loss of coal production and off-take to the tune of 2 million tonne during current financial year.
With the active help of police under the supervision of the SP Angul, at least 15 families illegally occupying the government land near Rakas village were shifted to the temporary accommodations at the Central Colony, before clearing about 15 acre government land which was acquired by the MCL. MCL also arranged for transportation and fooding for the evicted families.
MCL, in March 2019, had sanctioned ex-gratia in favour of these landless families as per provisions of R&R policy of the state @ Rs 1.2 lakh per family equivalent to the prevalent rate of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana/Biju Pucca Ghar. In addition, MCL has also provided Rs one lakh to each family for relocation.
However, a local political activist namely Mr Murlidhar Sahu along with his few supporters launched protest at the site and created obstruction in the work of the government authorities, following an eviction notice under section (12) of CBA Act, 1957, served to the illegal occupants in July this year.
After police detained the protesters to complete the eviction work on government land, all coal mines in Talcher coalfields were forcibly closed by local political affiliates at around 1900 hrs last evening.
All the mines in Talcher coalfields remained absolutely closed during night shift, causing a loss of around 50,000 tonne coal production and 40,000 cubic meter over burden removal while about 50,000 tonne coal supply to consumers also hampered due to the stoppage of dispatch operations.
However, working at the mines in Talcher gradually started late in morning except at Jagannath opencast project and the Balram opencast project where the work closure due to stalemate between Danara and Solada villages entered 10th day today.
Due to this, coal supply of about 15,000 tonne to various consumers is being affected daily from the Balram OCP.

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