More than 5,400 employees test positive at CIL

Operations have slowed down due to the surge but CIL gears itself to mitigate the crisis with over 3,000 beds, 1,820 oxygen cylinders and over 200 ventilators.


Photo Credit : representative image,

New Delhi: Coal India Ltd (CIL), the country's largest domestic coal producer (accounting for over 80 per cent) of the domestic coal output, revealed in a statement on Tuesday that its operations had slowed down on account of over 5,400 of the company's employees and their wards across subsidiaries testing positive for coronavirus. 

The company revealed in a statement last month that the offtake had increased to 54.1 Million Tonnes (MTs). However, the statement also read, 

"Offtake could have been even higher but the pandemic spread afflicted over 5,400 company's employees and their wards across subsidiaries, including contractual workers, slowing down the operations. Most of them are involved in the frontline output and offtake operations," CIL said. 

This total coal offtake of 54.1 MT was divided between the power sector and the non-power sector where each got 42.4 MT or 78.4 per cent of the dry fuel and 11.7 MT respectively. 

Comparing this to the coal off-take last year, the company added, 

"Despite the setback, coal supplies logged a 3.3 per cent growth compared to a COVID free April of FY'20 while the growth was even higher at 6.1 per cent against April FY'19 when CIL chalked up its highest ever coal off-take of 607 MT,"

While comparing numbers from last April might be incongruous considering the far-reaching effects of the pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, it becomes important to note that the 15MT increase in offtake is a sign of reviving demand.  "For the record, the year-on-year growth for April this year was 38.4 per cent...The key issue is demand has to sustain. If it holds, it bodes well for us in bringing down coal inventory further and increase supplies," the company said.

A closer look at the numbers reveals that CIL reduced its coal inventory by 12.2 MT in April to 87.2 MT and began the new financial year with a stockpile of 99.3 MT, because of the pandemic induced-reduced demand. It is reported that the company produced around 42 MT of coal in April.

While a demand spurt for coal is a welcome notion, the company feels that the transport and logistics of the operations have been affected due to the second wave. 

Combating COIVD

To treat and mitigate the extent of the crisis, CIL has set up a total of 3,000 beds, most of them oxygen-supported ones, including ICU beds. An additional 900 beds are being planned, out of which 60 will be ICU ones. As many as 1,820 oxygen cylinders and over 200 ventilators are in working condition. 

Beginning May 2, CIL has vaccinated over 77,000 employees, their wards and contractual workers who are aged 45 and above in accordance with their Vaccination programme, the company revealed.

Inputs from PTI

Tags assigned to this article:
COVID-19 coal india ltd coal industry power sector


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