Odisha CM demands establishment of AIIMS in Sundargarh

Bhubaneswar: Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, today met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the latter’s residence here.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister brought to the attention of the Union Minister the State Government’s demand for establishment of AIIMS in Sundargarh. The integrated campus for a 500-bedded hospital and 100-seated medical college in Sundargarh has been completed by NTPC. However, it is yet to be operationalized. It may be recalled that the State Government had earlier written to the Union Government regarding this issue.

The Chief Minister hoped that considering Sundargarh’s contribution in providing energy security to the country and to the national development in terms of steel and iron ore production, the Government of India should come forward to fulfill the long standing demands of the people of this tribal dominated district for an AIIMS.

The Chief Minister also requested the Union Minister for early functioning of MCL Medical College & Hospital at Talcher where infrastructure is ready since long. This 500-bedded and 100-seated Medical College and Hospital will benefit largely the people of Dhenkanal and Angul.

During the discussion, the Chief Minister raised the issue of Clean Energy Cess and demanded for at least 60 percent share on the cess collected from Odisha. In the year 2020-21, Odisha produced 153.85 million tonnes of coal contributing to about 25 percent of country’s production. Government of India collects Clean Energy Cess @ 400 rupees per tonne which amounts to more than Rs 50,000 crore. Thus, 60 percent of the cess will give Odisha an amount of Rs 30,000 crore which can be utilized for the economic development of coal mining areas and the affected people. Besides, it will accelerate Odisha’s development in the aftermath of COVID situation, Patnaik said.

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