Protest for jobs, rehabilitation hits MCL coal mining

BY- Jagadananda Pradhan
ANGUL:Coal production and transportation in Bhubaneswari, Ananta and coal mines under (MCL) were disrupted on Thursday owing to protest by the affected people demanding jobs, compensation and rehabilitation. “Hiloi villagers under Talcher Colliery police station, handed over their land and other holdings to the MCL in the hope of getting jobs in the .

But we have not got justice even nine years after acquisition of their land and pro- perties,” said an agitator. About 167 families were affected owing to the projects and MCL had acquired 721acres.

The MCL authorities had promised jobs to each of the affected families, said an official source. The villagers, who gave away their land, were assured jobs in the project before December 15 this year, said the source. The protesters shut down the three coal mines on Thursday.

Due to the agitation, coal production and transportation came to a standstill and MCL incurred losses amounting to crores of rupees. The villagers have threatened to launch an indefinite strike till their demands are fulfilled. M , chief general manager, , told , “We will provide them jobs and compensate them according to rehabilitation and resettlement policy, 2006, of the state government soon. As they are asking for jobs before getting rehabilitation we need support from the government. We will convene a high-level meeting soon with the district administration and look into the demands.”

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