Odisha Channel Bureau Talcher, July 23: Despite having agreed to disburse more than in hand, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) feels helpless with villagers of Hensmul at Talcher Coalfields in Angul district of Odisha threatening to go on indefinite strike at its two mega projects – Bhubaneswari OCP and Ananta OCP – from July 25.A total 285 people of village were provided job as a part of R&R package against their land, which included a permanent job in the company along with complete compensation for the land and home stead.With regard to the resettlement, MCL also provided R&R site developed for the purpose at Gurjang, which was provided by the state government.The company had also offered an option of availing cash compensation of rupees three lakh each in lieu of plot in the R&R site or avail the ‘Swarna Yojana Scheme’ wherein if 20 or more people shift to a common site of their choice, then MCL provides necessary infrastructure like, boundary wall, road, lighting, etc.While 163 have shifted, 122 people refused all options despite holding several meeting under the aegis of state government and insisted to shift to a particular site which was acquired by the company under the Coal Bearing Act which the company cannot use for any other purpose except mining.However, as a goodwill gesture and keeping in view of the acute coal shortage being faced by the nation, MCL agreed to take up the matter with the Ministry of Coal for obtaining permission to divert the land for R&R site.Till the permission of diversion is obtained, the Company offered to provide them company quarters as an immediate relief besides reinstate them without ‘break in service’ and giving them time to vacate their structures by October-end.However, the villagers continued to reject all the offers and again have given an indefinite strike notice from July 25, 2014, which may lead to shortage of coal to the power plants.Delay in shifting of the villagers may result in loss of around 10 MT of coal in the current financial year from Bhubaneswari OCP, which inter alia may result in loss of around Rs 100 crore royalty to the state of Odisha and irreparable loss to the entire nation.
July 23, 2014
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