Three Odisha coal mines resume production

Bhubaneswar: Production has resumed at the three open cast coal mines of the state run-Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL) in Odisha which were shut since July 11 after protests by locals, a company official said Monday.

MCL spokesman Dikken Mehra said the production and transportation started at Bhubaneswari, Ananta and Jagannath mines in Angul district’s Talcher area, about 170 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, following the local administration’s intervention.

Support TwoCircles

These mines have a combined daily production of about one lakh tonnes – a third of MCL’s daily output. MCL halted operations at the mines after over a hundred people, who are staying in the mining zone, launched an indefinite shutdown in the area four days ago.

The company urgently needs the land to expand its mines as it has almost excavated coal from the existing location.

Although the company has relocated some of the residents 15 km away from their village, these people want to be relocated to a particular site which is a coal bearing area in the middle of three main mining projects, the official said.

“The company had offered many options to the villagers, including shifting to any place of their choice other than coal bearing areas, and cash compensation but they were still protesting,” he said.

Describing the latest development as a temporary one, Mehra said if the people do not vacate their dwellings units by October, they would have no other option but to close down the mining operations again in the area.

District Superintendent of Police Narasingh Bhol said mining operations were resumed after police chased the protestors away from the site and arrested eight of them.