Raipur. Rajasthan Energy Minister Hiralal Nagar visited Parsa East Kete Basan block of Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RVUNL) in Surguja to assess community-centric initiatives and project development works. He expressed his government’s commitment to the development of Surguja district on behalf of RVUNL.

Energy Minister Hiralal Nagar said, “The immense success of the PEKB block is the result of a fruitful partnership between Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. We are proud of RVUNL’s contribution to the development of Surguja district. The Rajasthan government is dedicated to strengthening its bond with the local communities and contributing even more to their empowerment in the future.”

RVUNL’s PEKB block is one of the largest employers in the organised sector in Surguja, providing nearly 10,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities. It has played a key role in preventing local workers from migrating to other districts such as Korba, Bilaspur and Raigarh, where the mining sector has contributed significantly to employment generation and local economic development. RVUNL, through its mine developer and operator contractor Adani Enterprises Ltd, has undertaken various initiatives in education, empowerment, health, sanitation, strengthening rural infrastructure and agriculture. The Adani Vidya Mandir supported by RVUNL provides free education to nearly 900 local students. Notably, it is possibly the only school in India where a cooperative society of mothers of the students is responsible for preparing and serving nutritious breakfast and mid-day meals.

Minister Nagar also launched dozer push operation and inaugurated a nine megawatt solar project to use renewable energy for RVUNL’s operations in PEKB block. He also visited the forest where RVUNL has planted 11.5 lakh trees with the help of locals on land reclaimed after coal mining in the last decade. He also discussed the status of the ongoing drive to plant additional 2.5 lakh trees during the current financial year. It is noteworthy that we have set a record in developing nurseries for Sal trees.

As a symbol of his commitment, Energy Minister Nagar announced plans to set up a 25-bed modern hospital near PEKB Block to provide modern healthcare services to the local communities dependent on Ambikapur.

It is worth noting that due to the closure of PEKB block during the last few months, the Rajasthan government was forced to buy coal by paying 40 percent more price and this had an adverse effect on Rajasthan’s budget. On Saturday, Energy Minister Nagar also expressed his government’s commitment to the development of Surguja district during his meeting with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Dev Sai in Raipur.

Energy Minister Nagar expressed happiness over the performance of Chhattisgarh’s only five-star rated PEKB coal mine for the last four consecutive years. He said, “By continuously running a large-scale afforestation project on the land reclaimed after coal mining and successfully accepting the challenge of sal regeneration, RVUNL has set new standards in the Indian mining industry. We are committed to replicate the same success in our two other coal blocks, Parsa and Kete Extension, located in the neighbourhood of PEKB block. Currently, we are able to get only nine to ten railway racks of coal, while the requirement is 20 to 22 rakes.” He said, “I am confident that with the support of Chief Minister Vishnudev Sai, RVUNL will be able to expand its operations in the interest of Surguja and Rajasthan, which will reduce our dependence on coal imports as well as Coal India.