Mining Operations Continue Despite Lockdown

Despite a fall in worker strength affecting a 60% drop in mineral production, the Odisha government has mandated the pursuance of mining operations throughout the state, listing it as an essential service amidst the nationwide lockdown. The mining sector, which caters not only to coal mining but also many other precious metals and minerals, serve as a source of royalty for the state exchequer, and helps power several industries.

“Since the state government has allowed operation of mining activities during the lockdown, the production, dispatch and supply of raw material is going on. Instructions have been given to the concerned concerned authorities to ensure that the lessees adhere to social distancing guidelines issued by the state government to check spread of COVID-19,” director of mines Deepak Mohanty said.

Mining corporations have been instructed to avoid public gatherings inside their lease hold areas, maintain good sanitary facilities for workers, and raise awareness about the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic amongst the workers and families.

In addition to meeting domestic requirements, Odisha also exports to foreign countries through its network of well-developed ports. With the mining sector accounting for a considerable share of the state’s revenue, a downturn in its output is expected to negatively impact the finances of the state.

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