Residents of a village in West Bengal's Bankura district are staging a fast-unto-death demanding compensation and rehabilitation after cracks appeared on more than 150 houses in the area, for which they blamed explosions in a nearby coal mine. More than 100 residents, including elderly persons, of Manohar village in Barjora block, are taking part in the fast-unto-death since Monday, an agitator said.
"The cracks on the houses have been caused by explosions in the Barjora North Colliery, which is being mined for over a year by a firm appointed by the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd (WBPDCL). No action was taken despite informing the authorities about the cracks. Hence, we have taken this step," he said. WBPDCL authorities refused to comment on the issue.
Barbora BDO Bhaskar Roy, however, said that the cracks were not caused by mining explosions. "Manohar village does not fall in the mining area. According to a report submitted by a committee, the cracks were not caused by explosions. So, there is no question of rehabilitation," he said.