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Local MLA held for questioning after violence in coal belt in Odisha

Last Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 20:52

Bhubaneswar: A day after mining was paralysed in Talcher coal belt in Odisha following largescale violence, local MLA Braja Kishore Pradhan was held by police for questioning while power generation halted in three NTPC units despite resumption of work in three collieries.

Following disruption in coal production, power generation was stopped in three units of 500 mw each in NTPC`s Kaniha plant near Talcher in Angul district, a company official said adding production was also affected to some extend in the remaining three units.

Generation was also disrupted in two units of 60 mw capacity each at Talcher Thermal Power Station, sources said.
Mining activities in Talcher area including coal transportation had come to a grinding halt yesterday following large scale violence and clash between rival groups at railway siding in Jagannath area.

However, production was resumed in three of the ten collieries in the area this afternoon following necessary steps and security arrangements, an MCL official said.

The mines where production was resumed are Lingaraj, Bhubaneswari, Kaniha, he said adding three rakes of coal were also dispatched for NTPC plant at Kaniha.

Meanwhile, local independent legislator Braja Kishore Pradhan was held by police for interrogation in connection with the violence that rocked the area yesterday in which over 40 vehicles were torched, police sources said.
Police has prima facie evidence about Pradhan`s involvement in yesterday`s violence, Angul Superintendent of Police Narsinha Bhol said adding investigation was on.

Mining work was paralysed yesterday as violence broke out when a group was protesting against the arrest of 48 contractual labourers who have been obstructing normal working of Railway Siding 3&4 of Jagannath area since October 17, an official of MCL said.
The violent protesters unleashed a reign of terror in the coalfields and went on a rampage ransacking the office of the project officer, Lingaraj as well as the office of general manager Lingaraj, destroying computers and other official equipments, MCL said in a statement.
Talcher Coalfields produces & dispatches about 2 lakh tonnes of coal per day and feeds NTPC plants and NALCO CPP besides other power producers of the country and it is feared that continued closure would cause massive shortage of power to the state and nation besides huge loss to the state and central exchequer, MCL sources said.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 20:52

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