NTPC Barkagaon Standoff: Coal Operation Begins after 76 days

The National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) coal mine in Barkagaon block of Hazaribagh district restarted operations on Wednesday after a hiatus of 76 days. Coal mining was at a halt since September 2, 2020.

The operation began peacefully in the presence of Deputy Commissioner Aditya Kumar Anand, Superintendent of Police Karthik S., Sub Divisional Officer Vidyabhushan Kumar, NTPC Executive Director Prashant Kashyap and A Subramaniam of Triveni Sainik Private Limited.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren announced that an agreement with NTPC has been reached on the land compensation issue and shifting of homes, while other demands of the locals are being considered by the panel.

A meeting between Power Secretary and Chief Secretary of Jharkhand recently took place in Ranchi to discuss the issue of NTPC coal mining. With mounting pressure on the Jharkhand government to start operations, a five-member high-level committee under Commissioner of North Chotanagpur Kamal John Lakra was constituted to probe the matter and furnish a report to the government.

It may be recalled that the locals from 18 blocks of Barkagaon, led by Congress’ Barkagaon MLA Amba Prasad, were protesting under the banner of Sangharsh Morcha, demanding increased compensation, jobs and compliance with other norms.

Meanwhile, NTPC Executive Director Prashant Kashyap informed that about 35,000 tonnes of coal is excavated daily from Chirudih-Barwadi mines. In 76 days, 26 lakh 60 thousand tons of coal could not be mined. He however added that within 2 days, according to the target, 35 thousand tons of coal production will begin here.

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