Coal miners of the Singareni Collieries Company Limited’s (SCCL) long-cherished dream of employment to their dependents and other local unemployed youth with the opening of auxiliary units of the Singareni remains a mirage, causing unrest among the youth in the region.
During electioneering, TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had promised to revive the dependent employment scheme, which was stopped in 1998, and open up the coal corridor covering Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts to provide employment to local youth by opening auxiliary units of the Singareni.
But, the dreams of miners and unemployed youth remains unfulfilled in spite of the recognised trade union of Singareni, Telangana Boggu Ghani Karmika Sangham (TGBKS) affiliated to the TRS, launching several agitations by forming Singareni Sons Association (SSA) last year.
Miners say that the government was fulfilling the promises made during the elections to all sections of the society except those who work in the Singareni collieries. “We played a crucial role during the Telangana statehood movement by participating in the general strike, but our demand of dependent employment scheme remains a dream. Our children, who completed ITI and polytechnic courses, remain unemployed and are waiting in despair for employment in the Singareni or its auxiliary units,” they said.
Singareni Open Cast projects struggle committee chairman and BJP State secretary S. Kumar alleged that the Singareni management was acting as private entrepreneurs and doing business, neglecting the basic requirement of employment generation and creating new jobs by opening auxiliary units. The TRS government made tall claims during the elections about reviving dependent employment scheme, but is now going the other way, he said.
The TRS, which fought against the open cast projects and sought only underground mines, is now encouraging only OCPs by destroying nature and disturbing villages, he alleged. He also said that the Singareni, instead of providing employment to local youth, was taking up corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes and forcing youth to work in the private sector. In the name of CSR programmes, the Singareni had also stopped paying cess to the district administration, he said.
TGBKS president K. Mallaiah said the Singareni management should revive the dependent employment scheme and open up more auxiliary units to create employment to the youth in the region.