Raipur diary: All that is happening at the ‘Rice bowl of India’


Express News Service

Chhattisgarh industries face shortage of iron ore

Being the second-largest sponge iron producer in the country and the only state to make high-grade rails for the Railways, Chhattisgarh is facing an acute shortage of iron ore for its industries. The state produces 11.6 MTPA steel and 11.28 MTPA (25 per cent of India) sponge iron.

“We are deeply concerned as over 89 per cent, which is 24 million tonnes, of iron ore produced by the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), the only commercial miner, is being exported outside the state, creating a huge scarcity,” said Pradeep Tandon, chairman, state council of FICCI. 

16 senior Maoist leaders died of COVID-19 in 2 months

Confirmation by the banned CPI (Maoist) of the death of two senior leaders due to the coronavirus infection, has corroborated the assertion of Bastar Police that the pandemic claimed the lives of over 16 senior rebels in the last two months.

Bastar Range IG Sunderraj P has appealed to the Maoist cadres to shun violence, surrender, avail medical facilities and seek treatment for COVID-19 ailment. The pandemic situation in Maoist camps remains alarming.

The Red ultras should accept the reality, the IG added. Most of the Maoist leaders and cadres have reportedly died in the proximity of the Minaguram-Jabagatta forest in the south Bijapur-Sukma region. Maoist leaders like Hidma, Vinod, Sonu, Jaiman, Nandu among others are reported to be down with the infection. 

Support for 1.5 lakh amid second wave

Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO) has extended medical, awareness and livelihood support to over 1.5 lakh community members through various initiatives in the industrial town of Korba. The organisation has designed and implemented campaigns across villages on various do’s and don’ts and supported the administration with medicines, sanitisation drive and PPE kits.

During the challenging time, it has set up a 100-bed hospital at Naya Raipur and generated livelihood opportunities through Vedanta skill school and project ‘Unnati’. 

500 schools closed due to pandemic impact

Private schools in Chhattisgarh are the worst hit by the pandemic impact. As many as 500 schools 
have already been shut down in the state and many others are on the brink of closure as they are unable to sustain the expenses.

The biggest concern is the fate of one lakh students who were admitted in these schools from Class 1 to 8 under the Right to Education (RTE). According to Rajiv Gupta, president of the Private School Association, there are around 500 private schools that were shut down owing to financial constraints and lack of enough admissions.

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