MCL choses NBCC for constructing Talcher med college & hospital

Sambalpur: Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) today said it has identified National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) for infrastructure development of the proposed medical college and hospital at Talcher.

The coal major’s statement came after some local outfits staged an economic blockade hitting coal production and dispatch today demanding immediate setting up a medical college and hospital at Talcher.

Stating that the MCL, under its CSR programme has decided to set up the 500-bed state-of-the-art Mahanadi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at an investment of Rs 492 crore, the coal major said the blockade has caused a loss of 2.1 lakh tonne coal production and dispatch.

“MCL, the second largest coal producer and major contributor towards social upliftment in Odisha, had envisaged an ambitious CSR project of setting-up a 100-seat medical college with a 500-bed hospital in Talcher at a cost of Rs 492 crore,” a company release said.

Pursuing the matter for almost seven years to get a “land free of all encumbrances” for setting-up a medical institution in Talcher, MCL received the diversion of forest land from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest on December 26, 2014, it said.

As per a MoU signed between the Odisha Government and MCL, the company has to make efforts to enable admission of medical students for academic session 2016-17, hence the company felt actions by the protesters were “premature”, the release said.

Miners in Talcher Coalfields produce about 2.1 lakh tonne of coal during the rainy season, which contributes about Rs 2.63 crore to the state exchequer, the release said.

According to reports received from Talcher, locals reached MCL mines early today and brought all mining activities to halt.

Even staff and officers were forced to vacate the offices.

This was for the third time in the current fiscal that mining operations in Talcher Coalfields were shut down.