The compensation for people displaced by the open cast coal mining of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd., should be enhanced to Rs.10 lakh per acre as in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, CPI member P.J. Chandrasekhara Rao demanded in the Legislative Council on Tuesday.

Referring to the proposed open cast mining in Mandamarri village, the CPI member said during question hour that given the past experience where the displaced persons were neither provided jobs by the company nor adequate compensation for the land, the government should spell out the compensation package.

K. Dileep Kumar (Ind) said lakhs of acres of land in Telangana region had been taken over for mining. But the SCCL, a public sector undertaking, which should have been a role model, was also exploiting tribal people like the private sector and leaving them in the lurch with degraded environment and with no employment.

In Mandamarri, 61 acres of land was being acquired by the SCCL in addition to 424 acres already in its possession.

Coal shortage

Minister for Information Technology Ponnala Lakshmaiah said that open cast mining was inevitable in view of the shortage of coal faced by the thermal power plants. While open cast mining accounted for 91 per cent of coal in Coal India, it was only 78 per cent in SCCL. He, however, said that government would positively consider the enhanced compensation package for the displaced.

SCCL, a public sector undertaking, is exploiting tribal people like the private sector and leaving them in the lurch, says CPI member P.J. Chandrasekhara Rao