The production of state-run Coal India declined by 63 per cent on the first day of a three-day strike by its workers affiliated to five trade unions, according to a company official.
The overburden removal, or clearing of topsoil to make coal seams ready for mining, was 57.84 per cent on Thursday, the official said.
Coal India produced 4,81,000 tonnes of coal on Thursday, which is 37 per cent of the last 10 days average production (from June 22 to July 1) of 12,96,900 tonnes, the official said.
Protesting trade unions, however, had claimed that on the first day of the strike there was no production and dispatch.
A coal ministry official said that 37 per cent of production could happen because of around 100,000 contract workers employed by Coal India.
The coal dispatch by CIL on the first day of the strike was 41.14 per cent at 5,78,000 tonnes, when compared to 14,05,000 tonnes of average coal dispatched in the last 10 days (from June 22 to July 1), the company official said.
The overburden removal was also 58 per cent of the normal removal, the official said. Normal removal, he said, has been calculated as the average of previous 10 days immediately prior to the strike day, he said.
The ministry official said that the "overburden removal was good due to the contribution made by the contract workers, mostly engaged in overburden removal work."
On Thursday, there was an attendance of 32.36 per cent as 63,581 employees reported to work, in comparison to 1,96,487 employees who reported to work on June 22 in Coal India and it different subsidiaries, the official said.
Five trade unions, including RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), working in Coal India Ltd (CIL) went on a three-day strike from Thursday to protest the decision of the government to start commercial coal mining.
According to analysts, the coal strike will not impact the power industry and electricity generation as the powerhouses have sufficient stock of dry fuel.
The coal stock in thermal power plants in the country has increased to the highest level of 50 million tonnes (MT), sufficient enough for 30 days, Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said a fortnight back.