Uproar in Odisha Assembly over coal mining in Sundargarh
The trio, hailing from Sundargarh district, alleged that the present owner of Jamkhani coal block was denying legitimate rights to the affected people as per the law.Demanding a ruling from the Chair, the Opposition BJP and Congress members trooped into the well of the House and raised anti-government slogans while holding placards.
The Odisha Assembly witnessed noisy scenes on Wednesday and was adjourned for 10 minutes in the wake of protests by Opposition members demanding proper rehabilitation for those affected by mining in Jamkhani coal block in Sundargarh district.
The issue was raised by BJP MLA Shankar Oram and was supported by Sundargarh legislator Kusum Tete and Congress member Rajan Ekka. The trio, hailing from Sundargarh district, alleged that the present owner of Jamkhani coal block was denying legitimate rights to the affected people as per the law.
Demanding a ruling from the Chair, the Opposition BJP and Congress members trooped into the well of the House and raised anti-government slogans while holding placards. They alleged that the state government was hand-in-gloves with Vedanta, which got the Jamkhani coal block from Bhushan Power and Steel Limited.
In 2012, Supreme Court had de-allocated more than 200 mining blocks including those of iron ore and coal. Subsequently these de-allocated blocks were put under auction. The new owners, who won the auction, got land lease and other clearances.
Vedanta Limited got Jamkhani coal block in auction and all clearances and permissions from various central and state departments were obtained as per the law.
Even Gram Sabha was held and a rehabilitation colony has already been set up by previous owner Bhushan Power and Steel Limited on 114 acres of land at Bilei Munda near Garzanjore for the displaced families, an official said.
However, the Opposition MLAs alleged that Vedanta has started coal mining without complying with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, thus violating guidelines of the Centre and the state.
Tete said lands in Jamkani, Jharpalm, Mendra and Girisima villages have been partly acquired with very less compensation amount under a now obsolete land acquisition act.
''The land acquisition was meant for Bhushan but the coal mine has now been allotted to Vedanta. Under these changed circumstances, compensation for land acquisition should be as per the new act, for which it should be surveyed again,'' Tete said.
Speaker B K Arukha asked the state government to verify the Opposition's allegations, following which normalcy returned to the House.
The BJP members also submitted a memorandum with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and a delegation met Governor Ganeshi Lal over the issue.
''The state government and Vedanta will discuss with the villagers and take appropriate action to resolve issues related to the rehabilitation and resettlement colony,'' an official said.
Bhushan had built the colony comprising 495 houses that now stands transferred to Vedanta. Only 188 units were occupied by project displaced people and the remaining are still vacant, a Revenue Department official in Sundargarh said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)