Coal and Mines PSUs extending best possible support in fighting Covid-19 : Pralhad Joshi

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New Delhi 20 Apr 2020 : National Aluminum Company (NALCO) and Coal India subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) will fully fund two dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in Odisha inaugurated by Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha along with Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of Coal & Mines Shri Pralhad Joshi through Video Conferencing today. The hospitals started by Government of Odisha will be run with the help of different medical hospitals of the state.

         “It is a matter of pride that PSUs of Coal and Mines Ministries have extended their best possible support to the State governments in fighting COVID-19. These hospitals with all Covid related facilities will be a great help to the people of Odisha.” Union Minister of Coal & Mines Shri Pralhad Joshi said. NALCO will fund a 200-bedded hospital set up at Nabarangpur district of Odisha whereas MCL will fund the 150-bedded hospital started at Talcher in Angul district of the state. MCL has also provided its medical college infrastructure for setting up the hospital.

           “The central government has already issued guidelines to allow state governments to utilize up to 30% of the balance fund available with District Mineral Fund (DMF) to combat COVID-19. This will also help the mineral rich state like Odisha in fighting with the pandemic.” Coal and Mines Minister added.

Notably, employees of NALCO have contributed their one day salary amounting to Rs. 2.5 Crores to Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. MCL is already funding a dedicated 500-bedded Covid-19 Hospital at Bhubaneswar started by Govt. of Odisha recently. This Coal India arm has also established over 50 beds Isolation Centre at Jharsuguda district of Odisha. The company has also pressed into service the state-of-the-art equipment “Fog Cannon” to sanitise peripheral areas, besides distributing masks and alcohol-based sanitisers among coal miners and people living in and around its operations.

          NALCO is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) working under Ministry of Mines (MoM) and MCL is subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL) working under Ministry of Coal (MoC), Government of India. NALCO contributes to production of 32% Bauxite, 33% Alumina and 12% Aluminium in India. CIL produces over 80 per cent of India’s coal output.