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Protests at coal mines are dealing a body blow to production

PW Bureau

Due to protests at Kaniha mine in Talcher coalfields and the Hingula open cast mine, there has been loss of production hours in the current fiscal, the sources said Kolkata: With protests at key coal mines continuing to hurt output, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, is expected to miss its production target for this fiscal, company sources said. Due to protests at Kaniha mine in Talcher coalfields and the Hingula open cast mine, there has been a loss of production hours in the current fiscal, the sources said. Since villagers’ land had been acquired for the setting up of the Kaniha mine in Talcher coalfields, they have been holding agitations to demand jobs in return. Mahanadi Coalfields has already reworked its aspirational targets to 162.50 million tonnes of coal production and 169 million tonnes of offtake for this fiscal. “Till February 19 in the current fiscal, a total of 6,051 hours of production had been lost due to the protests. And with the elections nearing, such politically motivated disruptions are expected to rise,” an MCL source told.

Production set to fall below 2017-18 target

Sources added that even the company’s production target of 143 million tonnes for the last fiscal year is not likely to be matched. Production dropped 2.8 percent on-year to 111.61 million tonnes during the April-January period. As a result of disruptions in mining operations in the first three quarters, close to 4.87 million tonnes of output has so far been lost in 2018-19. Since mining operations were halted for about seven weeks during the April-December period, the 10-million tonne capacity Kaniha mine in Talcher suffered a loss of over 1.3 million tonne production. Up till this month, the Kaniha and Hingula open cast mines posted a production loss of 1,300 hours and 1,143 hours, respectively, the sources said.