Turf war over Rs5 meal halts mining in Odisha’s Talcher coalfields

Production at the 70-million- tonne per annum Talcher coalfields of the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), Odisha came to a halt this morning, courtesy a turf war between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP and the State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s BJD.

MCL contributes nearly one-fourth of Coal India’s annual production, with Talcher generating two-thirds of MCL’s output.

The stoppage comes at a time when the mine was producing nearly 3 lakh tonnes a day to help CIL to produce approximately 493 million tonnes this fiscal.

Aahar canteens

The trouble began on March 26 when MCL backed out from its promised participation in State-run Aahar Yojna.

Similar to ‘Amma canteens’ in Jayalalithaa’s Tamil Nadu, Patnaik wants municipal bodies to offer meals to urban poor at ?5 through Aahar canteens from April 1.

MCL was requested to contribute ?2.3 crore from its huge CSR (corporate social responsibility) budget for running such canteens in Sambalpur in 2015-16.

Similar requests were made to all other major State-owned companies having operations in the State.

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