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PIL filed on coal dump mishap

17 Sep 2013

A PIL has been filed in the Orissa High Court recently seeking a credible investigation into the collapse of the coal overburden dump at Kulda open cast project of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) in Sundargarh district which claimed 13 lives.

The PIL also sought the court’s directive for strict implementation of Mines Safety and Environmental Protection norms.

The petitioners comprising one Dulamani Baiga and others from Balinga and nearby villages affected by mining named officials of district administration, MCL, Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) and Forest & Environment Department as opposite parties.  The PIL in the form of a writ petition also sought court direction to authorities concerned to instruct the MCL to regulate height of the overburden dump under the Basundhara-Garjanbahal (B-G) area in Hemgir block of the district.

The petition squarely blamed the callousness and negligence of the MCL authorities for the incident and alleged gross violation of mines safety, environment and pollution and coal mining regulation guidelines.

The petitioners expressed displeasure on the ongoing separate inquiries by the DGMS officials and State Government authorities.

MCL Official Detained

An official of the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) was on Saturday arrested and released on bail in connection with the coal overburden (OB) dump mishap.

Police said the OB dump in-charge Ramesh Kumar Pradhan was arrested from Kulda area and forwarded to the court of Sundargarh SDJM Smrutilekha Barik.

The court on Saturday evening granted him bail. Sundargarh SP Sanjeev Arora said he was booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder for the mishap on August 10.

Source: The New Indian Express