Sinduli Open Pit Mine Expansion Work Closed Due To Trinamool Protests, Ecl Facing Losses: Ragapur, November 1 (H.S.) Despite lifting the blockade on written assurances, there was no relief in the mine expansion. Trinamool’s counter-movement with a set of demands. And because of that, the Siduli open pit mine expansion stopped. And because of that, the state-owned coal lifting company ECL faced a daily loss of about 24 lakh rupees. The unprecedented incident took place at Sinduli Colliery in Andal. The protestors are not members of the party, but the leadership of Safai Block. The ruling party Trinamool is extremely uncomfortable with the incident.
Incidentally, in 2018, the Union Ministry of Coal approved ECL’s Siduli colliery expansion project in the Kenda area. It is known that the project will produce about 26 million tons of coal in 23 years. There will be open-pit and underground mines. It requires about 254 hectares of land. Out of which 124 hectares of land belong to ECL. There are some special lands. Also, more land is needed.
According to ECL sources, the main work of the project has not yet started. However, initially, the work of making space for the Sinduli underground mining drive started. The work of demolishing a stadium of ECL has started. A private organization is doing that work. Siduri village is located in the area adjacent to the mine. There are about 15 thousand residents in the village. There is a school. Stadium for games. As a result, the Siduli stadium ground is being demolished due to the expansion of the mine. Thousands of trees are being cut down. It is alleged that many houses in the area are being damaged due to continuous blasting in underground mines. As a result, residents panic. Terrified residents demand resettlement.
On December 29, under the banner of the “Sinduli Village Bachao Committee”, the committee staged a protest at the Sinduli Colliery Agent’s Office. The committee submitted the memorandum with 14-point demands. The initial expansion of the mine was stopped due to protests. Finally, on October 14, ECL sat in a tripartite discussion. Apart from ECL officials, the local panchayat administration and activists were present. ECL gave a written promise to compensate the villagers’ demands. Only then the Sinduli Bachao Committee took up the movement. And mine expansion began. But, last Monday, the Trinamool stopped the work after starting a protest on a set of demands including rehabilitation, alternative playgrounds, and priority in local jobs. The protest started with the Trinamool flag in hand and the microphone.
On behalf of the protestors, Trinamool’s West Burdwan district youth vice president MD Wasim said, “Our movement is based on the demands of the common people of the Sinduli area. The authorities have been asked to give priority to the rehabilitation of the people of the 9 village MPs in the area, alternative playgrounds, and the work of the locals. The “Save Sinduli Gram Bachao” committee’s agreement does not accept its existence. The deal was done by keeping the villagers in the dark. So the demands have to be fulfilled by discussing directly with the villagers.” In such an incident, the ruling party’s block and district leadership are in extreme confusion as the ruling party’s clan conflict has come to the fore. Trinamool Congress Andal block president Kalobaran Mondal said, “The agitators are not part of the party. The party has no permission for such protests. The administration is looking into the matter. And the movement with the party flag has been communicated to the top leadership.”
Meanwhile, ECL faced losses due to the stoppage of mine expansion. Sinduli Colliery agent Rajendra Kishore Prasad Singh said, “Mine is needed for coal extraction in the national interest. The project was approved in 2018. The new project will produce 1500 to 2000 tons of coal daily. The expansion work of the main project has not yet started. Now the work on the Incline project has started.
Victims will be compensated according to government rules It has been informed in writing in the tripartite talks. Yet again, under the banner of a political party, they stopped working and started protesting on the same demand. Due to this daily loss of Tk 24 lakhs. The matter has been reported to the local administration.” Although
In this regard, Khandara Panchayat chief Shyamlendu Adhikari said, “We have no objection to the expansion of the mine. The villagers were discussed. The authorities have assured to compensate the damages and rehabilitation as per the government norms as demanded by the villagers. Then the Sinduli Bachao Committee took up the movement. Then someone is starting a new movement, which is unfortunate.” Trinamool West Burdwan District President and MLA Bidhan Upadhyay said, “Trinamool does not do bandh politics. Who or what is doing such a movement with the name of the party, the matter is being investigated.”