Asom Jatiyotabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) on July 24 staged a dharna for more than one hour at National Highway (NH) 315 near the bus stand in Margherita town of Tinsukia district against the illegal coal mining at the collieries of North Eastern Coalfields (NEC), Coal India Ltd.
More than 100 members of AJYCP were present during the dharna and shouted slogans against the management of NEC Coal India Ltd.
''Margherita Sub Divisional Administration (Civil) and Assam Government have failed to protect the natural resources which are relentlessly looted by coal mafias for many years,'' they alleged.
AJYCP president, Bimal Singh and general secretary Rajiv Rongrang said that at 124 No. Margherita constituency, coal is found in a large amount but unfortunately, after the shutdown of Bargolai Colliery, Ledo OCP, Tirap Colliery, and Tipong Colliery under NEC Coal India Ltd, Margherita coal pilferage has immensely given a big blow to state exchequer where not only Assam Government but also NEC is facing a huge loss in revenue.
Singh further said that NEC Coal India Ltd is the lifeline of the residents of Margherita as it is the only largest existing PSU but due to illegal extraction of coal through rat hole mining.
''It has brought a threat to the life of all people living near the collieries because landslide and erosion at Historical Patkai hills may bring disaster. We have been demanding to extract coal through scientific method but unfortunately, the present General Manager of NEC Coal India Ltd S P Dutta has not paid any attention to the illegal rat hole mining where many coal cutters have lost their lives untimely,'' Singh added.
Pranjal Moran, Nayan Phukan, Dipen Aley, Rupam Das, Kartik Gwala, Bijay Munda, and many more youths have lost their lives while extracting coal from the ill-fated Patkai hills where coal is found, Singh added.
AJYCP president further said that two brothers namely Ron Lungchang and Shyam Lungchang alias Naga Shyam of Ledo Tikak Malu Pahar have rampantly extracted coal for which on July 18 one Dipen Aley of Golaghat district, who came to work for Shyam Lungchang, died due to methane gas explosion at Tikak colliery.
''Till now Margherita police and administration have failed to arrest him as we have already given a complain letter at Ledo police outpost,'' Singh claimed.
A memorandum was given to Union Coal minister Dr Prahlad Joshi through the General Manager of NEC Coal India Ltd Margherita where we have demanded to close all illegal coal operations at all collieries of NEC Margherita, to open a hospital at Ledo, to provide 100 per cent local recruitment to all educated youths at all coal mining companies of NEC Margherita, to open coal mining school at Margherita and to open all closed down collieries of NEC Margherita through scientific method said Bimal Singh.
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