Coal Bearing Tribunal In Odisha’s Jharsuguda Soon: Centre

Bhubaneswar: The Centre will set up a coal-bearing tribunal (CBT) in Jhuarsuda under Bargarh Parliamentary constituency for the early settlement of long-standing disputes on the payment of land compensation to displaced oustees under the Coal Bearing Act (CBA).

In a letter to Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari, Union Coal minister Pralhad Joshi said he recently had a meeting with Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). The CIL has informed that at present, two part-time tribunals (PPTs) are functioning in Dhenkanal district and Talcher in Angul district, which are adjudicating cases of land oustees related to land acquired under CBA 1957 in respect of the MCL.

“The PTT at Dhenkanal, headed by District & Session Judge, Dhenkanal, is dealing with the cases of Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts and the other one at Talcher headed by the Additional & Sessions Judge is dealing with the cases of Angul district. Since both tribunals are functioning as PTTs, the cases are not being heard on regular basis, which has slowed down the disposal rate of the cases.  As such, a large number of unresolved cases have been lying pending for years together, resulting in unrest among the claimants who are the project-affected persons of different villages acquired by the MCL for its mining operations,” the Union minister said.

He said taking this into consideration, a proposal has been made to set up a full-time tribunal under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957, at Talcher by merging the Dhenkanal and Talcher PTTs.

The Union minister further said that considering the misery of the litigants in attending hearings at Dhenkanal PTT by travelling about 350 km, the MCL has proposed one PPT in Jharsuguda district for the speedy disposal of the cases of Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts which has been endorsed by the CIL.

He said that the MCL has been asked to submit a formal proposal for the consideration of the Centre.

Notably, Pujari had raked up the issue in the Parliament in response to the demand by the office-bearers of the Jharsuguda Bar Association.

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