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Jobs bowl of northern Telangana drying up

Jobs bowl of northern Telangana drying up
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Jobs Bowl of Northern Telangana Drying Up, Singareni Collieries’ Staff. The jobs bowl of Northern Telangana, Singareni Collieries, – is fast drying up...

Singareni Collieries’ staff strength plummeting

  • Preference to open cast mining, mechanisation
  • Growing contract & outsourcing employment
  • Contract staff said to comprise over 30% of jobs
  • Despite pact with CIL, no wage revision for them
  • KCR govt wants to take over Centre’s stake in SCCL

Hyderabad: The jobs bowl of Northern Telangana, Singareni Collieries, – is fast drying up with employment plummeting.

The coal mines jointly owned by Central and Telangana governments used to provide employment to 1.17 lakh people in 1991. But now this has declined to mere 60,000 only.

Even the character of this employment has also undergone a drastic change. The growing trend of contract and outsourcing employment is further shattering the hopes of youth in this largely dryland area. Estimates suggest that such contract employment is as high as 20,000, constituting over 30% of total employment.

The Singareni Collieries are spread over four districts of Telangana State, namely Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam. These mines have provided gainful employment to even illiterate youth of this backward region. Besides, the spread of mining industry has given a boost to the local economy.

However, thanks to mechanisation and increased preference to open cast mining, the job potential has sharply come down. This is despite impressive rise in both production and profits for the company. The overall production has registered over three-fold rise since 1991. Meanwhile, the contract employment is as high as 70% in the open cast mines.

The management is resorting to such practices even in the perennial jobs. The salary of a contract worker is only one-fifth of what a permanent worker gets.

The recommendation of a high-power committee on coal industry to revise wages for contract workers has not been implemented for the last two years. In fact, Coal India Limited (CIL) is already implementing revised wages. The management of Singareni Collieries, despite being a signatory to the wage agreement, refuses to effect an upward revision in the wages for contract workers. The contract workers are denied even bonus, contrary to the amended Bonus Act and the subsequent Bonus Agreement reached with Unions.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao recently reviewed the functioning of Singareni Collieries and said the the Telangana government was keen to take over the Centre’s share. A proposal to this effect has already been sent to the central government. But, the Telangana government is yet to deliver on the grievances of contract workers.

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