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Hemant to Coal Min: provide 75% jobs to locals

Ranchi: Jharkhand’s chief minister Hemant Soren on Saturday demanded that the coal companies in the state must give jobs to 75 percent locals, allot tenders of up to Rs 1 crore to local contractors and retuning of unused lands acquired by the mining majors back to the state government.

Soren was speaking to Union coal minister Pralhad Joshi during the latter’s visit to Ranchi today. Joshi’s visit was aimed at fast tracking operation of three mines—Rajmahal-Taljhari block, Hurl and Siyal coal blocks.

During the discussions, Soren demanded that coal companies should be more accommodative to local concerns. According to a statement issued by the state IPRD department, Soren demanded, “Companies like CCL, BCCL and other coal firms should employ locals up to 75 percent. State government too recently came up with 75% reservation policy for local residents. In tendering process too, local contractors must be given priority for work up to Rs 1 crore. These will reduce the problems of unemployment, resentment and other problems on the ground.”

Joshi promised to look into the demands. The chief minister also demanded return of unused lands by coal companies. “Even after acquiring chunks of lands, many are lying unused. On the other hand, those already displaced continue to remain devoid of proper rehabilitation,” he underlined citing crores of pending royalties from the companies for last many years.