Talcher: Normal life was paralysed in Talcher industrial belt Monday after members of Talcher Surakhya Manch observed a dawn-to-dusk bandh over operationalisation of Talcher Medical College here. The outfit demanded that the state government should take immediate steps for smooth functioning of Talcher Medical College while MCL should provide the necessary funding. Though the construction of buildings for the medical college is already completed, they are yet to be functional, the agitators alleged.
Though the state government had announced two years ago that the Mahanadi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (MIMSAR) in Talcher will be made functional from 2021-22 academic year, it is yet to be operational. It has not yet been decided as to who will run the medical college. The medical college building has been constructed by MCL.
The construction of the hospital building was completed in 2018 at an investment of Rs 492 crore. The medical college and hospital will have 500 beds and 100 MBBS seats. The manch also demanded construction of railway line between Talcher and Angul railway station and running of all trains from Talcher station to Kaniha area. The bandh affected bus services, shops and coal mining.
Coal production in all the eight coal mines in Talcher coalfield came to a grinding halt due to the bandh. The agitators picketed at all coal mines resulting in disruption of coal production and transportation.
Meanwhile, the colliery official sources said MCL has lost about 2 lakh tonne of coal production due to the agitation. The strike went off peacefully with no untoward incidents, police sources said. The agitators warned that they would intensify the stir in coming days if their demands are not met. The bus owners’ association also extended support to bandh.