Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL), a subsidiary of state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) which operates 15 open cast and six underground mines in the state, said it managed to produce less than 1,000 tonnes of coal and that too through workers engaged by contractors.

"We produced only 939 tonnes of coal and dispatched about 38,824 tonnes from the stocks against 1.25 lakh tonnes of production and dispatch per shift we carry out on normal day," MCL public relations officer Dikken Mehra said.

"Some workers engaged by the contractors have carried out the work on the night shift Tuesday and Wednesday but their number was negligible," he said.

"MCL is incurring a loss of Rs.10 crore per shift due to the strike", he added.

MCL, with its headquarters in the town of Burla in Sambalpur district, about 340 km from here, supplies coal to a number of power companies in south India and Odisha, including the state power utility NTPC, Talcher Thermal Power Station and aluminium-maker Nalco.Coal India has near monopoly over the country's coal production, accounting for nearly 82 percent of the domestic output.

The five major trade unions backing the strike - Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Hind Mazdoor Sangh -- represent almost 90 percent of Coal India's half-a-million workforce.

“The move to restructure Coal India is against the interest of the workers. It will divide their  unity. It will pave the way for more corruption," Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh leader Badal Maharana said."

Our strike is continuing and we will continue to do so until and unless the government fulfills our demands. The government also must stop the auctioning of 204 coal blocks," he said.


Latest News from State News Desk