‘Ensure W Odisha firms get adequate coal’

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‘Ensure W Odisha firms get adequate coal’

Tuesday, 19 October 2021 | RAJ KUMAR SHARMA | JHARASUGUDA

In view of a brewing coal crisis, the Aanchalik Silpa Bisthapita Sachetan Manch (ASBSM) warned of launching an agitation against the MCL.

Addressing mediapersons, ASBSM president Tapas Roy Chowdhury and general secretary P Rammohan Rao said, "We have submitted a memorandum to the CMD of MCL at the Burla headquarters on Monday, stating that if within seven days, the power plants and different industries of  western Odisha didn’t get  the required coal, then we will launch an agitation infront of the MCL headquarters office at Burla  and paralyse all the mines of Ib Coalfields".

In western Odisha, the major industries and power plants include NTPC Darlipali, OPGC, Vedanta Aluminium, TRL - Krosaki, SMC Power Generation Ltd, Concast Steel, MSP Metallics, Seven Star Steels Pvt Ltd, JSW-BPSL, Shyam Metallics and Energy Ltd, Aditya Aluminium, Hindustan Almunium Corporation (Hindalco), Rourkela Steel Plant, and many others.

The forum claimed that on the instructions of the Central Government’s Ministry of Coal, more than 65% of MCL's coal is sent to other States, which might cause a shortfall of coal to power plants and other industries in Odisha.  If the same situation persists, then very soon, the industrial units in western Odisha which depend on MCL coal may have to shut down.

The forum also demanded a change in the policy to ensure that MCL prioritises Odisha's power demands over the demands of other States. The forum said it would launch a massive agitation against MCL to press for its demands ahead.

Chowdhury said if industrial units of western Odisha face a power shortage, it will have a catastrophic effect on the lives of the workers who directly or indirectly depend on these units to provide them with their livelihood. He also expressed fear that this might disrupt the mining economy of the district.  Chowdhury argued that many locals had been displaced from their land and their home due to mining projects of MCL, and in case of an impending crisis if any industrial units get affected due to the shortage of coal, the sacrifice of these residents would go in vain.

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