Odisha Current Affairs - 2020

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Odisha Mining Activity greatly affected due to COVID-19; 21 mines interrupted

With the COVID-19 spreading at faster rate in the country, GoI had extended the statutory permits of mines for smooth transition. In spite of this, several mines in Odisha are facing delays of resumption.

Highlights

The operations of 21 mines have been disrupted completely. The delay in resumption of merchant mines in the state is to affect demand-supply mismatch greatly. Most of the small-scale steel plants, pellet makers and sponge iron units are dependent on the merchant ore market for raw materials. These mines mainly include manganese, iron ore and chromite.

Odisha Resources

The state is rich in Limestone, Manganese ore, iron ore, chromite, bauxite, Dolomite, graphite, etc. According to Economic Survey, Odisha is the major supplier of raw materials in the country. Mining contributes 10% of income of the state. It holds 96% of Chromite and 25% of coal reserves of India. After Mines and Minerals Development and regulation act, 2015, Odisha was at the forefront in auctioning new mineral blocks.

Therefore, disruption of mining activities in the state will hit the economy badly.

Home Ministry changes rules: State Disaster Relief Funds to be used for migrant workers

On March 28, 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs introduced new rules under the State Disaster Response Fund. Under the rules, the funds are to be used to facilitate availability of temporary accommodation and food for the migrant workers.

So far 900 have been infected with COVID-19 in India, 21 have died and 80 have recovered.

Around 80% of India’s work force is employed in informal sector and one-third are working as casual labours. They are the most vulnerable to the spread of the virus. Migrants have flooded the yamuna expressway to return to their home towns.

Kolar Mines

Over 1,3000 migrants that attempted to return to Andhra Pradesh from Kola mines have been stopped and quarantined in Kolar district. The Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh state governments are working to facilitate precautionary measures to make sure none of them are infected with COVID-19.

Odisha

The Odisha Government has set up 36 temporary camps to provide shelter and food to the workers migrating from states. They are migrating from West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.