Odisha: People protest for adequate supply of coal to industries
A large number of people from western Odisha staged a demonstration here on Monday demanding adequate supply of coal to industries within the state to save them from being shut. People belonging to different spheres of life from places like Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Sambalpur gathered near Master Canteen Square under the banner of "Bisthapit Sachetan Samiti" (BSS) to press their demand.
The demonstrators, led by Congress leader and MLA from Jharsuguda, Naba Kishore Das, who is also Convener of the Samiti, also sent a memorandum to the Coal Minister highlighting their demands. The slogan-shouting demonstrators held placards with messages like "Odisha's coal - our right", "Provide coal and save industries" and "Odisha's coal for Odisha's progress."
Das demanded that coal produced in Odisha should be utilised in the state first and requirement of local industries which are the backbone of socio-economic development must be met. The memorandum emphasised the need to increase the production of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) to bridge the demand-supply gap and urgent measures to be put in place by the company. Necessary steps should be taken to ensure coal security for the home-grown industries in Odisha before making an allocation for industries based elsewhere.
The memorandum also demanded that the major portion of the total CSR fund of the industries of this region should be spent in Western Odisha besides employment for the local deserving candidates in MCL. It said 20 per cent of the net profit should be spent on CSR programmes by MCL.
The demonstrators had earlier stated staged a dharna outside MCL headquarters in Burla on November 21.
(With inputs from agencies.)