Bhubaneswar: Production resumed Tuesday at the seven open cast coal mines of state run-Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL) in Odisha, which were shut since Nov 29 after violent clashes over job cuts, officials said.

“We have resumed operations at all the mines,” MCL spokesman Dikken Mehra told IANS. The production started at a lower level which will increase gradually. “We hope to resume full production Wednesday,” he added.

The coal mines in Talcher Coalfields in Angul district, about 170 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, produce two lakh tonnes of thermal coal daily.

MCL halted operations at the mines after a mob, led by legislator Braja Kishore Pradhan, Friday burnt 35 bikes, four multi-utility vehicles and ransacked offices at the mining sites.

They were protesting against a contractor for engaging his own labourers at two railway sidings in the mines, denying jobs to those hired by his predecessor.

A senior district police official said workers joined work and normalcy returned in the area after prohibitory orders were clamped at the controversial railway sidings.

MCL with its headquarters in Burla town of Sambalpur district, about 340 km from here, supplies coal to several power companies, including the state power utility NTPC (earlier National Thermal Power Corporation) and aluminium maker Nalco.

Source: IANS