People resented over 20 coal mines at Chhendipada

People resented over 20 coal mines at Chhendipada

By Bijay Mishra

Angul, 17-10-21

“Without consulting the affected people , as many as about 20 coal mines are auctioned in a small region of Chhendipada block for commercial mining and it will adversely affect lakhs of people of Angul district at large “- told veteran environmentalist & Goldman Prize Winner Mr Prafulla’s Samantaray . A team comprising Mr Samantaray, Social Activist Er Sashmita Behera , Odisha Jana Adhikari Parisad President Bijay Parida , JANMAT Advisior Bijay Mishra , Advocate Jitendra Sahu, Krutartha Dehury and Udit Pradhan met the affected villagers of various mines including Radhikapur East and Radhikapur west at Chhendipada , Kosala and Jhintipal , when auctions are going on at present for as many as 9 coal mines of Chendpada area in 3rd phase .

Observing widespread resentment among the people , Sashmita Behera told at Jhintipal that without a proper "Habitat Planning" , around 20 coal mines including Radhikapur East and West are set to establish for commercial mining in the Chhendipada block of Criticality polluted Angul District .

At present, people are vehemently opposing EMIL owned Radhikapur East . Aditya Birla group owned EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources Ltd became the winning bidder for Radhikapur (East) coal mine. This coal block , spread over an area of 10.16 sq km, has a net proved reserve of 176.33 million tonne (MT) of fossil fuel.

Villages like Jhintipal, Gopiballabhpur, Gopinathpur and Barpada will be directly and immensely affected by Radhikapur (East) coal mine.

Meeting the aggrieved people Mr Bijay Parida told that , the problem of mining-induced displacement and resettlement poses major risks to societal sustainability in Angul district . Without habitat planning coal mines are allowed to operate in Chhendipada , Talcher and Kaniha area .People have lost there natural resources, water resources and connectivity . Coal mine surrounding villages are greately affected by air ,water and noise pollution . People are continuously demonstrating against traffic jam for coal transport vehicles . "Without addressing these issues , Govt allowed further minning in Angul area "- told Mr Parida

"Radhikapur (East) coal mine belongs to Angul-Talcher coal Belt, close to Satkosia and Similipal Tiger Reserves and it will seriously affect & fragment Similipal-Satkosia wildlife corridor. " - told Er Sashmita Behera .

Villagers of Angul and Talcher are facing water scarcity and other ecology hardship. Peoples of this Coal rich area presently living with hardship due to increasing man-animal conflict in human habitations due to water and fodder scarcity in jungles and hills in view of large scale mining.”Commercial Coal Mining in Chhendipada area will pose a threat to the abundance and diversity of flora and fauna and would further worsen the connectivity. The cumulative impacts of mining in this region will further aggravate the sustainability challenges of the landscape due to disturbances and deterioration of forest ecology.Govt most stop the Auction of the coal mines , which is going on without the consent of the people “- told Mr Samantaray.