Coal Extraction Voids In Odisha’s Talcher Create Another ‘No Entry Zone’

MCL & Odisha Govt To Conduct Joint Probe Into The Incident

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Talcher:  The district administration has barricaded the sinkhole that had developed on the farmland at Deulabeda Sahi under ward no-18 of Talcher municipality in Angul district and declared it as a no-entry zone.

The administration officials had visited the land owned by Akshaya Kumar Sahu on Wednesday and the sinkhole was subsequently filled up with sand.

According to media reports, Akshaya’s farmland comes under an area that used to be a coal mine of Handidhuan Coalmines and BNR Company.

Meanwhile, MCL Talcher chief area manager B Kumar and other officials too visited the spot and sought cooperation of the villagers to prevent such mishaps. MCL CMD BN Shukla along with other officials also held discussions with Akshaya and the other affected villagers regarding compensation.

The meeting decided that the tehsildar will be informed about the incident and a joint investigation will be carried out by the state government and MCL, following which a final report will be prepared.

The compensation amount would be fixed after an estimation of the damaged. Two to three members of each affected families would be hired as private security guards at MCL, the reports added.

Incidents of subsidence have been occurring regularly in Talcher or ‘coal town’ over the past 38 years. In 2014, a big cavity appeared in the middle of a crowded locality near the Sai temple. Four years later, a similar incident was reported from two houses in the town. A portion of land measuring about 5 feet in length and 6 feet in width had suddenly caved in inside the house of one Shanti Bai and later stretched to her neighbours house on December 5, 2018. A day after Angul residents observed 12-hour bandh, the then Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had ordered a probe into the incidents of land subsidence.

In 2007, the director general of Mines Safety had declared four villages, Atharpa, Remuan, Koilunda and parts of Talcher township, as ‘no construction zones’.

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