National

Strike hits coal output

Workers at a coal mine in Giridih district of Jharkhand on Tuesday. Photo: Manob Chowdhury

Workers at a coal mine in Giridih district of Jharkhand on Tuesday. Photo: Manob Chowdhury   | Photo Credit: Manob Chowdhury -

With the coal strike beginning on Tuesday, mining activities at various coalfields across the country was hit.

However, partial operations continued at the Ranigunj coalfields in Eastern Coalfields Ltd and South Eastern Coalfields Ltd based in Chhattisgarh, officials said.

A control room has been set up at Coal India Ltd (CIL) headquarters here, although officers and the staff were denied entry by picketing trade union activists.

Sources at CIL, which accounts for 80 per cent of the country’s coal production, said the daily output which averages at 1.5 million tonnes may dip to around 0.3 million tonnes.

Enquiries revealed that four power plants were running with super-critical stocks (of less than four days) and 13 are running with critical of less than seven days. The strike may worsen the coal stock position at the power plants.

In a press statement, the INTUC-affiliated Indian National Mineworkers Federation congratulated the workers at Coal India and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd for “launching the strike”.

The trade unions felt that the efforts for reconciliation had slim chances as they were not willing to compromise on the core issue of deletion of the enabling clause from the Coal Mines Ordinance.

The strike was called mainly to protest what the unions saw as a move to denationalise the coal sector.

BMS takes on Centre

The Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, the trade union wing of the Rashtriya Swayam Sangh, hit out at the coal mines ordinance passed in October and the subsequent Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill 2014 allowing for commercial mining of coal, and further divestment of Coal India Limited saying the government was “telling lies to rule the country”.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 9:35:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/fiveday-coal-strike-begins/article6759443.ece

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