Bhubaneswar, 28 May-2014: A large number of members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), CPI(M)’s Bonai MLA Laxman Munda and State secretary Janardan Pati on Tuesday staged a demonstration here at Mahatma Gandhi Marg here to press their demand for reopening of the 26 closed mines in Koida and Barbil sectors in Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts.
“The State Government without any further delay should initiate steps to reopen the closed mines to ensure livelihoods for thousands of labourers who have been rendered unemployed since the closure of mines following an order of the Supreme Court,” said Pati.
Pati alleged that the State Government is sitting idle on the applications for second Renewal of Mining Leases (RML) resulting in closure of two SAIL mines and 11 private mines in Sundargarh and 13 mines in adjacent Keonjhar district.
“Thousands of contract workers engaged in mines and five private railway sidings are now without work in Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts. They have no alternate source of income. Hence, we demand early restoration of production in the closed mines, payment of wages to the workers during the period of closure and periphery development by mines owners,” said Bonail MLA Munda.
While mining operations at the SAIL’s two mines in Koida have been suspended from May 17, the rest 11 iron ore and manganese mines were closed over next few days. As of now, only 14 of the total 70 mines in Koida are in operation.
(Input Source: orissadiary.com)