Bhubaneswari, Ananta and Jagannath mines in Angul district's Talcher area, about 170 km from here, halted operations on Friday. These mines have a combined daily production of about one lakh tonnes, a third of MCL's daily output.

"At least 122 people, who are staying in the mining zone, are refusing to vacate their houses and other structures located close to the projects under operations. Due to their protests, operations have halted at the mines," MCL public relation officer Dikken Mehra said.

"The company urgently needs those lands to expand its mines as it has almost excavated coal from the existing location," he added.

"Although the company has relocated some of the residents 15 km away from their villages, these 122 people want their relocation to a particular site, which is a coal bearing area in the middle of three main mining projects," he said.

"The company had also offered many options to the villagers, including shifting to any place of their choice other than coal bearing area and cash compensation but they were still protesting," he added.

(Agencies)

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