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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Workers’ agitation robs CIL Orissa unit of 6 lakh tonnes

The labour unrest in MCL is bound to compound worries for Coal India.

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi |
December 3, 2013 2:32:05 am

Coal India (CIL) has suffered a production loss of about 6 lakh tonnes translating into a revenue loss of up to Rs 50 crore due to an agitation by contract workers in the mines of its subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields in Orissa.

The disruption comes just ahead of a meeting on disinvestment convened by the Prime Minister’s Office with coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and public enterprises minister Praful Patel on Tuesday. CIL is expected to sell shares within January to raise money for the government and so the timing of the disruption is uncomfortable for the firm.

Violence broke out in MCL’s Talcher coal mine area in Orissa on Friday when the contract workers protested against their retrenchment by torching scores of vehicles.

In the ensuing disturbance,police arrested local BJD MLA BK Pradhan along with some agitating labourers but later released them. The district administration has imposed Section 144 of CrPC in 10 coal mines including Jagannath,South Balanda,Dera,Handidhua,Anant,Lingaraj and Bhubaneswari. Coal ministry officials are apprehensive that the labour unrest may mar prospects of the Maharatna coal miner which is likely to hit the markets by early January through a follow-on-public offer from which the government expects to mobilise around Rs 9,000 crore.

CIL management is talking to the trade unions that are opposed to further disinvestment in the PSU saying that it would lower the public sector character of the company.

“With virtually no production (in MCL) during the past two days,the estimated loss in output is around 6 lakh tonne implying a revenue loss of Rs 40-50 crore” Coal India chairman S Narsing Rao told The Indian Express.

The huge dip in output has impacted supplies to NTPC’s Talcher plans in Orissa and Simhadri in Madhya Pradesh besides units in Tamil Nadu.

However,the CIL chief said the Orissa government is in control over the situation,although normalcy in production would take some time. The Orissa government has assured full support.

The labour unrest in MCL is bound to compound worries for Coal India,which has missed its production target of 41.93 million tonne (MT) and it could only produce 39.20 MT this month. Its offtake target fell short by 3 MT as it could ensure lifting of 38.76 MT in November.

In the first eight months of the current fiscal,CIL output was 274.71 MT,as against the April-November target of 289.38 MT. The Talcher collieries have steady productivity and its mines have an estimated 35 billion tonnes of deposits.

Rs50 cr loss

Violence broke out in MCL’s Talcher coal mine when the contract workers protested against retrenchment by torching vehicles

The timing of the disruption is uncomfortable for Coal India as it plans to sell shares within January to raise money for the Centre.

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