Sambalpur: Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) has taken a series of steps at an estimated cost of over Rs 32 crore in the first quarter of current financial year to strengthen the fight against COVID-19 surge, besides ensuring increased quantity of coal to power plants.
MCL had spent Rs 135 crore in different Covid-19 mitigating activities in Odisha during Financial Year 2020-21, and has further extended its support to state government in establishing COVID-19 hospitals and providing other infrastructure support.
The company is procuring 200 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to help Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh and Angul districts to combat Covid-19 pandemic.
Anticipating a rise in power demand in the country, the company ensured more than 4.25 lakh daily supply of coal from its mines during current fiscal, which was 15% higher than the despatch of dry fuel during same period last financial year 2020-21.
MCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director PK Sinha has exhorted the General Managers in the monthly coordination meeting to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour in the workplace.
“The health of our officers, staff and contractors’ workers should be given paramount importance, as coal supply to power plants is directly dependent on them,” Sinha said, asserting that at this juncture, when all the systems have been realigned to support in fight against COVID-19, country cannot afford dearth of essential commodities due to shortage of power.
He also stressed on regular health monitoring of coal warriors, who are under treatment at various hospitals as well as at their residences.
MCL has lost 18 employees to COVID-19 pandemic, while 420 officers and staff are still under treatment for infection.
Keshav Rao, Director (Personnel), in his letter to Odisha government, has offered to establish COVID-19 vaccination centers at five healthcare facilities the company in Angul, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh districts, and sought help of the government for vaccinating company employees, contractors’ workers, their family members and peripheral population at the earliest.
MCL, which contributes about 20% to the total coal production in the country, has supported the state government and district authorities to set-up and run COVID-19 hospitals with a total of 1405 beds, including 189 in ICUs.
Besides sanitization of offices and other workplaces, MCL is also conducting sanitization drives in peripheral localities, using ‘fog cannons’.