By Our Correspondent
TALCHER/SAMBALPUR/BHUBANESWAR: The Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi announced 300 per cent hike in ex-gratia amount from Rs 5 lakhs to Rs 15 lakhs, for fatal coal mines accidents. Addressing the coal miners today at Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) in Odisha, he said that this welfare measure will cover over 3.5 lakh families of miners working under Coal India and its subsidiaries in eight states of the country.
The Minister of Coal and Mines undertook an aerial survey and inspection of mining operations of Talcher Coalfields in Mahanadi Coalfields Limited in Odisha, which is the second biggest subsidiary of state-run company Coal India Limited (CIL) that contributes about 25 per cent to the total coal production of CIL.
Paying tributes to the coal miners who laid down their lives in mine accidents, Joshi said, “I announce enhancement in ex-gratia from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for the coal workers, both permanent as well as the contractors, in case of fatal mine accident.” Shri Joshi said that the Government of India is committed to uplift the standard of living of common man and is steadily working towards creating more jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth.
He also announced that the Mahanadi Coalfields would offer employment to over 4000 land oustees by the financial year 2024-25.The Minister further announced that Mahanadi Coalfields will invest more than Rs 9000 crores in years to come for creation of railway infrastructure enabling seamless transportation of coal from across MCL mines.
Seeking cooperation of all the stakeholders on increasing coal production for the nation, Shri Joshi also added that MCL will run Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) in the peripheral villages of its operational areas for brining free healthcare to the doorstep of the needy people.
The Minister, who was on his maiden visit to MCL for reviewing mining operations of the company, also laid the foundation stone of MCL DAV School, Lingaraj Area, which will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 45 crore. Beginning with the initial student intake of 1300, it is proposed to be extended up to 3000. The CMD of CIL A. K. Jha and CMD of MCL B. N. Shukla were also present on the occasion along with other dignitaries.