TALCHER:Economic blockade has been called by two separate associations in Talcher coalfield in protest against inordinate delay in setting up the proposed Mahanadi Institute of Medical Science and Research here.
While Talcher Surakhya Manch has decided to start economic blockade by paralysing mining activities among other services from July 14, Talcher Bar Association has called the blockade in Talcher industrial belt from July 28.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Bar Association on July 10. Association president Santosh Kumar Sahu and local BJD MLA Braja Kishore Pradhan were among others who attended the meeting.
A day later, members of the Manch decided to resort to the same course for benefit of the local people.
Meanwhile, local Congress leaders, who held a meeting here on Sunday, decided to support the Bar Association sponsored blockade.
Director, Personnel, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, PC Panigrahi described the decision of blockades as unwarranted. All necessary procedures for setting up the Rs 492-crore college have been completed, Panigrahi added.
“In March, we got possession of land after forest clearance which delayed the work. We have finished all official procedures like awarding contract which has been given to National Building Construction Corporation Ltd, a Central Government undertaking. There is no point in resorting to such agitation which will result in huge losses to the nation,” he said.
According to sources, the process of setting up the medical college was started in 2008 as per a memorandum signed between State Government and Coal India. It is proposed to be a 100-seat medical college and 500-bed hospital.
Commenting on the proposed blockades, BJP leader Kalindi Samal termed it as uncalled for and said Union Coal Minister is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the medical college soon.