Talcher (Odisha): Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Thursday announced a three-fold increase in ex-gratia amount from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for death of permanent and contractual workers due to accident at coal mines.
The minister also said Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), the subsidiary of state-run Coal India Limited (CIL), will invest more than Rs 9,000 crore in railway infrastructure projects and offer jobs to around 4000 land losers by 2024-25.
"I announce enhancement of ex-gratia amount from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for the permanent and contractual coal workers in case of fatal accident at mines," Joshi said, while paying tributes to coal workers who died in mine accidents.
He said the welfare measure will cover over 3.5 lakh families of miners, working under Coal India and its subsidiaries in eight states of the country.
After undertaking an aerial survey and inspection of operations at Talcher mines of MCL in Odisha, the minister addressed the villagers and coal miners.
MCL, which contributes about 25 per cent to the annual production of Coal India, is looking at producing 160 million tonnes of fuel in the current fiscal. The miner had produced 144 million tonnes of coal in 2018-19.
Emphasising that the government is committed to uplift the standard of living of people, Joshi said, "We are working to create more jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for youths."
By 2024-25, the MCL will offer employments to over 4000 land losers, he said.
"MCL will invest more than Rs 9,000 crore in years to come for creation of railway infrastructure, enabling seamless transportation of coal from across its mines," he said.
Seeking cooperation from all the stakeholders for increasing coal production, Joshi also said that MCL will run mobile medical units in the peripheral villages of its operational areas for brining free healthcare to the doorstep of the needy people.
Coal India Chairman and Managing Director AK Jha and MCL chief BN Shukla were also present on the occasion along with other dignitaries.
The minister, who was on his maiden visit to MCL for reviewing mining operations of the company, also laid the foundation stone of MCL DAV School, Lingaraj Area, which will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 45 crore with initial student intake of 1,300.