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Trade unions bat for Bhuli
The meeting in progress at Bhuli, Dhanbad, on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey Praduman Choubey

Dhanbad, July 17: Representatives of central trade unions such as Intuc, Aituc, Citu, HMS and BMS today vowed to continue to wage a battle against Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) on the Bhuli eviction issue.

At a meeting at Budhni Hatia in Bhuli, Dhanbad, today, the representatives said that in no way would they allow the authorities to evict the BCCL labourers to make room for families that are to be rehabilitated from Jharia’s fire zone. At the same time, they also welcomed the softened stand of the company that has declared that it would not touch the BCCL employees in the first phase of eviction and would rather concentrate on illegal encroachers.

However, no final decision was taken on the strike in protest against the eviction process.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, S.K. Baxi of Citu, who chaired the meeting, asked: “How can the BCCL management take such an important decision of evicting the labourers without the approval of the central consultative committee? If the need arises, we will raise the issue when the joint bipartite committee on coal industry meets at Calcutta on August 3 and 4. The management must consult all stakeholders before taking any decision in this regard,” he added.

Echoing Baxi, Arvind Kumar of Janta Mazdoor Sangh said: “We will not allow anyone to play with the lives of the labourers. The company must come up with an alternative plan to rehabilitate the people of Jharia.”

Meanwhile, talking to The Telegraph over phone from Calcutta, Lalan Choubey of Intuc said that yesterday, former Dhanbad MP Chandrasekhar Dubey spoke to Union minister of state for coal Sriprakash Jaiswal on the issue. The latter assured him that the Bhuli eviction plan would be reviewed.

“Wrong feedback had been given to the minister by the Coal India Limited and BCCL management,” he added.

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