Ranchi/Dhanbad: Fire-affected sites in Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL)’s Jharia coalfields in Dhanbad have been reduced from 77 to 27 over the past two decades, the Union ministry of coal has claimed in a statement.
“The fire-affected areas significantly reduced from 77 sites in the pre-nationalisation era to 67 sites as the Jharia Master Plan of 2009, covering 17.3 sq km to 27 sites covering 1.8 sq km, according to surveys conducted in 2021,” the ministry said in a statement issued late Monday night.
The ministry further said a process is underway to allot over 8,000 houses to families who are to be shifted out of the fire-prone zones and rehabilitated under the Jharia Master Plan of 2009.
“Three categories of population need rehabilitation which include legal title holders, non-legal title holders and the families of BCCL employees. Initially, the BCCL was to construct 25,000 houses but the numbers were reduced to 15,713 due to superannuation and other reasons. Till date, the BCCL has constructed 11,798 houses while the remaining are under construction,” the ministry said.
BCCL sources in its headquarters in Dhanbad said the ministry has handed down strict deadlines to the Dhanbad district administration when it came to phased rehabilitation of the families. However, the Dhanbad district administrative officials, including deputy commissioner Varun Ranjan, did not respond to TOI’s calls and messages when contacted on Tuesday.
Notably, the implementation of the Jharia Master Plan is supposed to be carried out by the Jharia Rehabilitation and Development Authority. “The BCCL only disburses funds for the plan’s implementation,” a BCCL official told TOI on anonymity.
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