Odisha CM writes to Piyush Goyal over land acquired by CIL

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday wrote a letter to Union Minister of Coal Piyush Goyal, stating the problems faced by the ‘land losers’ of Odisha whose lands have been acquired by Coal India Limited (CIL) subsidiary, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL).
The lands have been acquired by the MCL under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act (CBA (A&D) Act) for coal mining.

“More than 23,000 hectares of land has been acquired under the CBA (A&D) Act for coal mining projects of the MCL in Angul and Jharsuguda districts alone. Of this, only about 10,700 hectares of land has been utilized so far and 3,400 hectares is planned to be utilized within the next five years. Out of the balance area of 9,250 hectares, there are no plans for utilization of 3,600 hectares even in the next ten years,” read the letter.

The letter further stated that the MCL only takes the rehabilitation and resettlement of the people at the time of its actual utilisation for mining purpose which leads to them waiting indefinitely for it.

“These persons are neither able to avail the facilities of development schemes nor can construct structures for their accommodation until they are actually rehabilitated and resettled,” it added.

The Odisha Chief Minister also suggested that the land which is not required for coal mining within the next five years ‘may be denotified.’

It was also requested that the Coal Company should take the responsibility of the local development work and provision of basic amenities for the people living in the area until the completion of rehabilitation and resettlement.

The letter also made an appeal for compensation to the land-owners for the civil structures constructed by them.