Telangana

Telangana Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao urges Prime Minister Modi to cancel the proposed auction of coal blocks in Singareni, Five SCCL trade unions of call for a 3-day strike

Published : December 09, 2021 12:42 IST

Mining being carried on in a coal block in Singareni, Khammam, Telangana. Photo: G.N. RAO

Workers unions of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the government-owned coal mining corporation, have called for a 72-hour strike from December 9, protesting against the Union Coal Ministry’s recent proposal to auction and privatise four coal blocks belonging to the SCCL.

Workers unions of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the government-owned coal mining corporation, have called for a 72-hour strike from December 9, protesting against the Union Coal Ministry’s recent proposal to auction and privatise four coal blocks belonging to the SCCL.

The five trade unions of the company, headquartered in Hanumakonda, Telangana, have demanded that the four coal blocks—JBROC-3, Sravanpally OC, Koya Gudem OC-3 and KK-6 UG Block under Union Ministry’s Trench 13—be withdrawn from the proposed auction. It is part of the 12-point charter of demands by the unions.

The strike call by the unions, as per the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 under Section 22, Sub Section (1), is expected to affect production at the mine, which produces around 65 million tonnes of coal every year and plays a key role in catering to the needs of thermal power plants in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has also lent support to the workers’ demand and has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting that the Union Coal Ministry’s auction proposal be rescinded. In the letter, the Chief Minister said that after the bifurcation of the Unified Andhra Pradesh, Telangana’s maximum demand for power had gone up from 5,661 mega watts (MW) in 2014 to 13,688 MWs by March 2021. It was, therefore, the Chief Minister wrote, essential that the supply of coal to the thermal power plants carried on uninterruptedly.

The Chief Minister said that the State government had issued several mining licences to the company, which the Centre was aware of, with the Union Coal Ministry even giving its green signal. Chandrashekar Rao explained that the proposed auction would adversely impact Singareni’s jurisdiction for coal.

Urging the Prime Minister to instruct the Union Coal Ministry to stop the auction, Chandrashekar Rao also requested that the JBROC-3, Sravanpally OC, Koya Gudem OC-3 and KK-6 UG blocks be allocated to SCCL.

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