Leaders of several central trade unions gheraoed the head office of Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) in Dhanbad for over three hours on Monday to protest against the suspension of mining operations in different collieries of BCCL. The gherao went on from 11am to 2pm.
The protesters, led by Mundrika Paswan, central secretary of Koyla Ispat Mazdoor Sangh, a trade union affiliated to Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), later submitted a memorandum to DGMS director-general Rahul Guha.
A delegation of the joint front also held a meeting with director, central zone, DGMS, A. Kumar.
After the meeting, one of the trade union leaders, Om Prakash Upadhyay, said: “We urged DGMS to withdraw its order regarding closure of pit No. 9 of Bagdigi colliery and resume operations in Bagdigi, Lodna and Jairampur mines.”
The DGMS authorities agreed to allow mining in Lodna and Jairampur but didn’t budge from their stand on Bagdigi, claiming that it was necessary due to excess heat in the pit, he added.
The agitators were not convinced. They accused the DGMS of being hand in glove with the BCCL authorities to shut down the collieries, displace labourers from the area and open new cast mines to outsource mining operations.
The BCCL management had closed pit No. 9 at Bagdigi on July 28 as a precautionary measure after an explosion occurred in pit No. 12 due to an underground fire.