ANGUL/JHARSUGUDA: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday inaugurated the 100-bed Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospital at Balaram Prasad in Angul district in presence of Union Minister of State for Labour Rameswar Teli.
Addressing the event, Pradhan said that the hospital is a 'Raja' gift from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the working class people of the State. The hospital acted like a 'Sanjeevani' for the people of Odisha during the COVID-19 pandemic by saving many valuable lives, he said.
The ESIC hospital has been built over 4.8 acre of land at a cost of Rs 65 crore. The Union Minister further said Angul and Jharsguda districts produced 150 MT of the total 600 MT coal produced in India.
A modern hospital was needed for the people engaged in the coal mines. "There are thousands of workers working in coal, aluminium, steel, power and other sectors in both the districts. The Narendra Modi-led government is trying its best to help the workers across the State by bringing them under various social security schemes," Pradhan said.
Highlighting the initiatives of the Centre, Pradhan said the Union government introduced the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund to help people in the mining affected districts of the country. Every year, Angul district gets Rs 250 crore from the DMF.
On the occasion, Teli said three new ESIC hospitals will be set up at Bhubaneswar, Jajpur and Paradip in the State. "Twenty districts in Odisha are covered by the ESIC and more than 13 lakh labourers are being benefited. The labour force is the backbone of the nation’s development and the Government of India is taking steps to ensure their holistic development," he said.
The Union Minister informed that the 100-bed hospital will provide advanced healthcare to over 75,000 workers of Angul and its neighbouring districts. On the day, the Union Ministers also virtually inaugurated the sub-regional office of ESIC at Jharsuguda which will cater to the needs of around 1.75 lakh registered workers and their families in 13 districts of western Odisha.
Among others, Dhenkanal MP Mahesh Sahoo, his Bargarh counterpart Suresh Pujari Odisha Labour Minister Srikanta Sahoo, Director General of ESIC Mukhamit S Bhatia and Angul Collector Sidhartha Shankar Swain were present.