MCL’s Talcher coalfields restarts ops, but Balram mine still paralysed

Bhubaneswar: After losing at least 2.5 lakh tonnes of coal production and supply to consumers, Talcher coalfields of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) finally resumed operations on October 30. Operations were stopped by the supporters of the local MLA, demanding benefits from the company beyond the extent of the government of Odisha’s R&R Policy-2006, an official press release said.

‘Operations at Talcher coalfields were stopped after an eviction drive’

“Mining operations at all the projects in Talcher coalfields were forcibly stopped by the MLA’s supporters after an eviction drive was conducted at government land Naikshahi of Bhalugadia village, which was acquired by the company under CBA Act in the year 2007,” the release said.

41 families were relocated

There were 41 families unauthorisedly living at Naikshahi of Bhalugadia, out of which 33 families were provided complete compensation package, including employment at MCL, under R&R Policy-2006 of Odisha government, against the acquisition of their tenancy land in Bhalugadia village.

Remaining eight families were landless and occupying government land at Naikshahi which was acquired by MCL since 2007. However, MCL had sanctioned cost of structure and Rs 1.2 lakh as per Indira Awas Yojana for these landless occupant families, along with Rs one lakh as relocation assistance, MCL said.

Balram mine remains paralysed

Meanwhile, Balram opencast project (OCP) of MCL continued to remain paralysed, with no thaw between Solada and Danara villages of Talcher coalfields.

Coal despatch at Balram OCP was forcibly stopped by villagers on October 6, while they stopped overburden removal at “Mahalakshmi patch” on October 10 and coal production from the mine was stopped from the second shift on October 12.

Fuel supply to coal consumers, including NALCO, JITPL, JSPL, BSL and GMR, is affected from Balram OCP, which has a capacity of 45 lakh tonne annual production.