CHAPTER-X

 

EMPLOYEES WELFARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEME

 

10.1. WELFARE

 

Welfare of Coal miners has the same importance as production, productivity and safety. The Coal companies are paying greater attention to the welfare of their workers. Every effort is being made to improve the living conditions of the coal miners. The thrust is on improving the basic necessities such as housing, water supply and medical care. Emphasis has also been laid on improving the general environmental and ecological conditions in the coalfields areas. In order to create a sense of belonging and involvement at work, top priority is given by the management to provide housing, medical and educational facilities . The results of the welfare measures taken in different areas are as under:

 

 

(i) HOUSING

 

At the time of nationalisation, in Coal India Ltd. and its subsidiaries there were only 1,18,366 houses including sub-standard houses. The availability of these houses has increased to 4,01,795. The housing satisfaction has now reached 70.42%. The coal companies are making all out efforts to further improve these facilities. Employees will be encouraged to form cooperative societies for building their own homes at a place where they would like to finally settle down. The details of houses constructed during 1999-2000 (Upto 1.12.1999) are given in Annexure- XX.

 

In SCCL as on 30.11.99, 45,483 Nos (including CISF ) quarters have been provided for employees of SCCL and 514 quarters are under construction.

 

 

  1. WATER SUPPLY

 

In Coal India Ltd. & its subsidiaries as against 2.27 lakhs population having access to potable water at the time of Nationalisation in 1973, presently 23.52 lakhs population has been covered under water supply scheme. This was as a result of the concerted efforts made by the Coal companies. Details of population covered by water supply ( Upto 01.12.1999) are given in Annexure-XXI.

 

In SCCL, the population covered under water supply is 8,24,800 and all the residential quarters have been provided with water supply as on 30.11.1999.

 

 

(iii) MEDICAL FACILITIES

 

The Coal India Ltd. and its subsidiaries are extending medical facilities to its employees and their families through various medical establishments starting from the Dispensary level to the Central and Apex Hospitals in different parts of the coalfields.

There are 86 hospitals with 5,916 beds, 435 dispensaries, 672 ambulances, 1,853 doctors including specialists in CIL and its subsidiaries to provide medical services to the employees.

Besides, 26 Ayurvedic dispensaries are also being run in the subsidiaries of
Coal India Ltd. to provide indigenous system of treatment to workers.

SCCL is running 7 hospitals with a combined strength of 1140 beds, 43 allopathic and 2 Ayurvedic dispensaries situated at different localities. The Health Education progammes and Immunisation drives are also organised in the areas. To promote family planning SCCL has also conducted 1487 operations in its hospitals and dispensaries

during April 1999 to Nov., 99. The company is also running a Nursing School recognised by the Andhra Govt.

 

 

(iv) EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES

The primary responsibility of providing educational facilities lies with the State Governments. However, CIL on its part has been providing financial assistance to certain schools like DAV Public Schools, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Delhi Public School and other educational institutions run by the State Government. In addition, as part of its Community Development Programme, CIL and its Subsidiary Companies are also providing financial assistance by way of grant-in-aid to certain privately managed schools functioning in and around coalfield areas.

At present, 1,254 educational institutions are functioning within the operational areas of CIL's subsidiary companies against 287 at the time of nationalisation. Companywise position of educational facilities available in the coalfields are given in the Annexure-XXII.

 

 

Welfare of Women

The women employees numberings 35273 as on 1.04.99 constitute about 6% of the total employees strength. These women employees are broadly engaged in jobs like security, nursing and para medical staff, wagon loading, shale picking, office attendant, secretarial assistance, etc. Instructions have also been issued for gainful employment for female employees in different jobs like:

 

 

Armature winder, Switch Board attendant.

    1. Shovel, Pump, Fan, Valve operator.
    2. Workshop, Cap lamp, EP fitter, Cable Vulcanising helper.

 

Subsidiary wise position of women employees as on 01.04.1999 is given in the Table ‘A’ below. It is the endeavour of management that through training/ retraining the women employees are equipped for more gainful employment in the coal companies.

 

SCCL is running 16 high schools and 1 upper primary school to cater to the educational needs of worker’s children. Special classes for mentally retarded children are being run in the school at Godavari Khunj. A Women’s Junior College is also run by the company.

 

 

Table – A

Company

As on 01.04.1998

As on 01.04.1999

ECL

9,781

9,603

BCCL

11,163

10,682

CCL

6,892

6,282

WCL

3,626

3,647

SECL

3,030

3,168

MCL

791

844

NCL

389

415

NEC

308

295

CMPDIL

140

140

DCC

21

21

CIL Hqrs.

175

176

Total

36,316

35,273

 

 

    1. STATUTORY/NON-STATUTORY WELFARE ACTIVITIES

 

  1. Statutory Welfare Measures

In accordance with the provision of the Mines Act 1952 and Rules and Regulations framed there-under, subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd. are maintaining various statutory welfare facilities for the coal miners. On the surface of mines, canteens, creches, pit head bath and rest shelters are being maintained for the convenience of the employees. There are 466 canteens, 91 creches, 319 Co-operative Institutions and 244 number of bank branches for the need and the benefit of the employees.

Under the statutory provisions the following schemes are in operation in the Coal India Ltd. & SCCL:-

( i ) Coal Mines Provident Fund.

(ii) Coal Mines Pension Scheme.

(iii) Gratuity.

 

(iv) Coal Mines Family Pension Scheme.

 

 

b) NON-STATUTORY WELFARE MEASURES:

i) Co-operative Stores

In order to supply essential commodities and consumer goods at a cheaper rate in the collieries, 11 central co-operatives and 153 primary co-operative stores are functioning in the coalfield areas of CIL. For protecting the employees from falling under the trap of money-lenders, 155 co-operative credit societies have also been established in the coal companies.

There are 3 Super Bazar Complexes, 18 Sales Depots and 44 Sales Counters working in SCCL areas. The following facilities are also provided by SCCL to its workers.

  1. Free supply of 200 Kg. coal per month to the workers not having LPG connection. For those owning the LPG connections, the cost of the LPG Cylinders is reimbursed in a financial year. 53,366 LPG connection holders avail of this facility now.
  2. 3 Community Halls at Yellandu, Manuguru and Ramagundem areas.

3. 12 Parks and 114 Canteens are provided in the various areas.

 

ii) Banking Facilities

The Management of coal companies are providing infrastructural facilities to the various nationalised banks for opening their branches and extension counters in the coalfields for the benefit of their workers. Workers are educated to draw their salaries through 244 nos. of banks/extension counters and they are also encouraged to develop saving habits which will ultimately reduce the menace of money-lenders in the coalfields.

 

 

10.3. ECOLOGY AND TREE PLANTATION

 

The Coal India is well aware of the need for improvement in ecological conditions in order to provide a better enviornment to workmen and to local inhabitants in the mining areas. They have been making concerted efforts to keep the environment free from pollution. The subsidiaries of CIL have been undertaking the work of regular development of green belts. The plantation is done on waste and reclaimed land. During the year 1999-2000, the coal companies have planted 32.41 lakhs trees so far. In SCCL, the company has raised about 76.09 lakh seedlings in the last 31 years. It is proposed to plant 7,84,375 seedlings in 325 Ha. of land during 1999-2000.

 

 

 

 

10.4 Developmental Activities in North Eastern States with reference to Coal Industries

 

North Eastern Region comprises of 7 states having striking similarities in topography, vegetation, food and living habit, social customs, trade and other economic activities. The concept of regional development nowhere appears to be more appropriate than this region. The region is endowed with huge mineral resources including coal, lime stone, gypsum, sillimanite, fireclay, kaolin, quartzite, pyrites, oil and natural gas and even uranium. The region is also very rich in forest resources. Assam is famous for her tea gardens and Arunachal Pradesh, for rare species of orchids.

 

The history of coal mining in this region is more than a century old. As per GSI document, the coal reserve is around 900 million tonnes, out of which 55% belongs to Meghalaya and 35% to Assam. The rest belongs to Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Due to very difficult geomining conditions, the exploration of these reserves needs special care. The mining constraints are mainly inconsistent seam structure, high inclination, gassiness, weak strata, proneness to self heating, poor slope stability, high and prolonged rain fall, etc.

 

North Eastern Coalfields have four underground and two opencast mines at Margherita Area in Assam, producing about 6 to 8 lakh tonnes per year. Meghalaya has a huge number of cottage mining units producing about 30 to 40 lakh tonnes per year. The coal has low ash, high heat value, high volatile matter and high sulphur.

 

Besides mining constraints, there are marketing constraints for NEC coal. Due to lack of coal based industries in the region, the consumption is meagre within the region. The problem has further accentuated due to availability of cheap Meghalaya coal in the vicinity. Due to presence of sulphur, the coal has no market in the steel industry. The BRK consumers of up-country region, i.e. Chandigarh, Bhatinda, Hissar, Kota etc. are only seasonal. Further, due to high freight charges, the marketing to these destinations needs special efforts and depends on market situation. Due to piling-up of huge coal stock (about one year’s production), the production level had to be cut down at present.

 

The old mines of North Eastern Coalfields need some financial assistance by way of investment for mechanising some of old underground mines under the "North-Eastern Package" of Hon’ble Prime Minister. Or the financial loss being incurred by NEC due to poor off-take and high cost of mining from undergound mines be off-set by GOI by providing grant-in-aid till the off-take of coal is improved and an assured linkage is established.

 

Inspite of poor economic scenario of NEC, some developmental activities have already been taken up. In Margherita, schools and recreation centres have been provided to the employees. There is a well equipped hospital. In Ledo, a garden has been created on old disused area. Every year sports and cultural programmes are organised by NEC.

 

In Meghalaya, a metalled road has been constructed under CCDA assistance. A stadium, a helipad and an airstrip have also been constructed at Simsong Project. A school in this project is run by NEC. At Tura, NEC has provided technical assistance for construction of a stadium and a hanging bridge connecting a remote village.

 

Due to insurgency in North Eastern Region, the total project activity of NEC is stopped. State Govt’s are to be requested for providing security coverage to the employees and officers working there so that the mines which are under development stage are completed and unnecessary expenditure on idleness of workmen is avoided.

 

 

10.5 Action Plan for Older People in Coal Companies

In Coal India Limited and its subsidiary companies, various provisions have been made in Welfare Schemes to provide financial security, health related care, housing and shelter etc. for age old employees of these companies after retirement.

 

 

(i) Financial Security

 

The employees on retirement are entitled to receive gratuity, leave encashment and provident fund. In order to provide optimum utilisation of hard earned money the counseling is provided by coal companies on the following matters:

    1. Practising thrift.
    2. To shun unhealthy practices like gambling, drinking etc. which result in draining of one's income.

 

(ii) Dependent Employment

 

This is scheme to provide employment to the dependants of employees who die or suffer physical disability during their service in the coal companies. There is also a provision to give monetary compensation to female dependants upto the age of 60 years in case of death of the employee. The present rate of compensation is as under:

 

Natural Death Accident Death

Executive Rs. 4,500 Rs. 6,000

Non-Executive Rs. 3,000 Rs, 4,500

 

 

(iii) Health-care

 

The employees, during their employment, are entitled to both indoor and outdoor treatment. Discussions are on for introduction of contributory health-care scheme through Mediclaim Policy for providing health-care facilities to the employees and their spouses. Under the scheme, the existing employees will also be encouraged to contribute towards the scheme while in service so that they can get the benefits on their superannuation.

 

 

(iv) Availing the assistance of NGOs

 

The assistance of NGOs will be taken in introducing various kinds of services which will help improving the quality of life of the older persons.

 

The Central Trade Unions and the Officers' Association will be associated in formulation policy guidelines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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