Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) has decided to finance all expenses of the country’s second largest COVID-19 hospital in Bhubaneswar including cost of treatment of patients for which MCL has already released Rs 7.31 crores as immediate advance.
“The hospital is a great medical asset for the people of Odisha,” said Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi during the inauguration programme of hospital co-ordinated through video conferencing.
MCL, which is Coal India’s subsidiary company, is funding the total operations of the hospital having 500 beds and 25 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds with ventilators. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the hospital and it was made oprational today. Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of Coal & Mines Pralhad Joshi also attended the programme.
Joshi said that the central government has already issued guidelines to allow state governments to utilise up to 30% of the balance fund available with District Mineral Fund (DMF) to combat COVID-19. He added that this will also help the mineral rich state like Odisha in fighting with the pandemic.
“I had personally directed the PSUs of Coal and Mines Ministries to extend best possible support to the respective state governments to help fight COVID-19, which has engulfed most of the countries of the world. I am happy that these PSUs have risen to the occasion,” the Coal and Mines Minister added.
Coal India’s subsidiaries have set up over 1500 quarantine/isolation beds in eight states. Similarly, employees of Bhubaneswar headquartered NALCO have pledged to contribute their one day salary amounting to Rs. 2.5 crores to Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. NALCO has also given its consent to fund a dedicated COVID-19 hospital to be set up by the Government of Odisha in Koraput district.