The state government has extended the Orissa Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1988 or ESMA in the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) areas in Talcher by another six months, prohibiting strikes to ensure uninterrupted coal supply to power plants, according to a notification.
The ESMA was clamped in MCLs Talcher coalfield areas on May 15, 2019 to prevent frequent strikes which were causing difficulties in power generation. This has been extended for another six months through the fresh notification.
The MCL area, which is prone to agitations, is being kept secured for coal production, dispatch and transportation for the public interest, an official said, adding that last year there were frequent strikes and police had a tough time maintaining law and order in the region.
Since it is apprehended that the situation may turn volatile this year as well, the government decided to further extend the ESMA by six months with effect from May 16, the official said.