Not planning to withdraw NLC expansion: Union Minister Pralhad Joshi

August 07, 2023 06:08 pm | Updated 06:08 pm IST - CHENNAI

The NLCIL will continue operating the existing mines and thermal power stations, the Minister said.

The NLCIL will continue operating the existing mines and thermal power stations, the Minister said. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Centre is not planning to withdraw the proposed expansion of Mines-II of NLC India Limited (NLCIL), the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, has said.

All the mines, including Mine-II, and the power stations are operating to supply electricity to Tamil Nadu and other southern States. Hence, the NLCIL will continue operating the existing mines and thermal power stations, he said, in a written reply to a question from PMK Rajya Sabha member Anbumani Ramadoss.

Dr. Ramadoss had asked whether the government would immediately withdraw the proposed expansion of Mines-II of NLCIL, considering the ambitious target of achieving net zero carbon emissions in the country.

“For the lands acquired by NLCIL between 1977 and 1989, regular employment was provided to 1,827 land-displaced persons, as per a list sponsored by the district administration,” Mr. Joshi said.

Due to the closure of units viz. fertilizer unit, B&C plant and Thermal Power Station I, all the employees working in those units were retained and redeployed to other NLCIL units to meet requirements, he said.

“As per the settlement dated 07/08/2020 under Sec. 12 (3) of Industrial Disputes Act, between the contractor employers and Trade Unions, it has been agreed that 60% of vacancies arising in non-executive category in regular employment on account of superannuation, death, resignation and termination of service, would be filled from the contract workmen, based on the common seniority, as directed by Supreme Court of India, subject to organisational requirements and business scenario,” the Union Minister said.

Accordingly, 1,258 contract workmen, mainly from peripheral villages, including Project Affected Persons (PAPs), were also inducted as regular employees during the past two years, he said.

Currently, 20 bonus marks out of 100 marks were accorded to PAPs in NLCIL recruitment notifications for non-executive positions falling under Group C & D categories, Mr. Joshi said.

According to him, 37 PAPs out of a total of 149 selected candidates were given appointments by providing 20 bonus marks out of 100 marks in the selection process.

“To help land-displaced persons of NLCIL Neyveli Mines for the lands acquired after 30-06-1989, a scheme for offering training to technically qualified Project Affected Persons has been formulated. As per the scheme, the trainees selected from among the PAPs will be provided training for 3 years in NLCIL Neyveli Units, and will be paid consolidated stipend during their training period,” Mr. Joshi said.

Replying to a query by AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP C. Ve. Shanmugam, the Union Minister said that 1,054 hectares of land, required for mine advancement for the next 5 years, was being acquired to sustain continuous electricity generation, which will contribute to the development of the State. The lands required for NLC India were acquired by the district administration as per the Land Acquisition Act prevailing at the time of acquisition.

Concerted efforts were being made to provide permanent employment to people affected by land acquisition activities by the NLCIL, and most of the landowners had accepted the revised benefits after various rounds of negotiation, he said.

NLCIL was the only public sector company in India giving a relatively higher compensation for agricultural lands. For the first time, in case an acre of land and a house were lost, a total compensation of ₹75 lakh was being offered to the landowners, Mr. Joshi said.  

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