Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi on Thursday announced a 300% hike in the ex-gratia amount for fatal coalmines accidents from Rs five lakh to Rs 15 lakh, a welfare measure that will cover over 3.5 lakh families of miners working under the Coal India and its subsidiaries.
After undertaking an aerial inspection of mining operations of the Talcher Coalfields under the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), the Minister addressed villagers and coalminers after laying foundation-stone of an MCL DAV School, Lingaraj Area.
Joshi said the Government of India is “steadily working to create more jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for youths”. He announced that the MCL, which has given over 16,000 permanent jobs in lieu of land since its inception, would offer employment to more than 4,000 more land oustees in Odisha by the year 2024-25.
He further announced that the MCL would invest over Rs 9,000 crore in years to come for creation of railway infrastructure enabling seamless transportation of coal from across its mines. This would include modernisation of Jharsuguda railway station, doubling of Saradega-Barpali-Jharsuguda railway line, construction of a double-leg flyover and construction of a 204-km-long rail network in Talcher under two phases of construction.
Joshi added that the MCL would also run mobile medical units (MMUs) in the peripheral villages for brining free healthcare to the doorsteps of the needy.
The proposed state-of-the-art MCL DAV School, Lingaraj Area would be built at a cost of Rs 45 crore with an initial student intake of 1,300 to be extended up to 3,000. It would be one of the best schools in India.
The MCL already has nine DAV schools in Angul, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts with total student strength of 13,425 in the current academic session.
Coal India Chairman AK Jha and MCL CMD BN Shukla were also present on the occasion.
Notably, the MCL, which produced a record 144 million tonnes of coal in 2018-19, is the Coal India’s second biggest subsidiary and contributes about 25% to its total coal production. In the current fiscal, the MCL has to produce 160 million tonnes out of 660 million tonnes of the Coal India’s target.