Coal production has been affected at over 600 mines operated by a Coal India subsidiary in Chhattisgarh. (Reuters)
Work has been stalled at over 600 coal mines operated in Chhattisgarh and parts of Madhya Pradesh by Coal India subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), on the first day of the five-day stike called by trade unions.
At many places, employees and officials were prevented from entering the coal mines today morning. SECL's daily production, which is between four and five lakh tonnes, has been disrupted. The production today clocked in at 2.5 lakh metric tonnes.
SECL produced 124 million metric tonnes of coal last year, has a production target of 131 million metric tonnes this year. This is likely to be affected because of the strike.
SECL supplies coal to thermal power plants in Chattishgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Officials have expressed hope that the deadlock is resolved soon, so that the supply to the power plants is not affected.
Whether the supply would remain unaffected depends on whether or not contractual labors join the strike. Almost 90 per cent of the SECL workforce in the mines is contractual labour. Permanent workers at the coal mines remove the soil and reach to the coal layer. The work of extracting the coal, packing it and transporting it is done by contractors.
lakh metric tonnes.