New Delhi: Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta, India’s leading producer of metals and oil & gas, has pledged Rs 150 crore to help the country in its fight against the rapidly spreading second wave of Covid 19. This is over and above Rs. 201 crore that was spent by the Vedanta group last year.

In an effort to support the tremendous efforts being made by the government of India and State governments, Vedanta Ltd will create additional capacity of 1,000 critical care beds in 10 cities pan-India. The critical care beds will be placed in state-of-the-art ‘field hospitals’ which will be attached to recognized and reputed hospitals. Each facility will have 100 beds in an air-conditioned tent with full electrical support and designed specifically for Covid care. The critical care facilities will have 90 beds equipped with oxygen support while the remaining will have ventilator support.

 Speaking on the initiative, Anil Agarwal, chairman, Vedanta, said, “I am deeply concerned and anguished to see the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 and loss of precious lives. Vedanta group has come forward to pledge Rs 150 Cr towards our commitment to fight the pandemic and we stand firmly with our people and the government at this difficult time. We believe that this additional infrastructure that will be set up immediately will bring much-needed relief for those affected by this deadly virus. Vedanta will also provide essential medical equipment for our heroic doctors and healthcare workers. We will continue to do everything possible that will help us together overcome this crisis.”

 The states where the additional capacity of critical care beds will be created are Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Goa, Karnataka and Delhi NCR. The company has set a target for the first set of facilities to be ready and commissioned within 14 days and balance facilities will be augmented within 30 days. Vedanta has estimated this support for a minimum 6-month period.

Vedanta is working closely with the government bodies and local administration to provide medical facilities and hospital care to those in need. The company is currently supporting around 700 beds for Covid patients across its business locations, which will be increased to 1,000 in the near term.

Meanwhile, Hindustan Zinc (HZL), ESL and Sesa Goa Iron Ore Business have stepped in to augment oxygen supplies to Covid-19 patients as part of the Vedanta Cares initiative. HZL is currently supplying 5T (100 percent of Liquid Oxygen capacity) of oxygen per day which can be used for medical treatment and is in the process of increasing it by another 2-3T.  Sesa Goa Iron Ore Business is supplying 3T of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) daily to the Goa State Government and hospitals, while ESL, the Vedanta group’s steel maker, has registered its plant near Bokaro for LMO and has committed to supply up to 10T of oxygen daily.

Sterlite Copper has received approval from the Supreme Court to supply oxygen from its Tuticorin plant. Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plants have a capacity to produce 1,000 tonnes of oxygen daily.

Vedanta is in talks with producers to procure the vaccines in bulk for our employees and their families. So far, over 5,000 employees and family members have been vaccinated and we would cover the whole of the Vedanta family and our business partners in the coming days.

The company has rolled out a telemedicine program for Nand Ghar communities with `Doctor on call’ facility in Rajasthan, Odhisha, Chattisgarh , Jharkhand , Karnataka and UP. It has also set up a 24/7 dedicated helpline with Apollo Hospital to provide medical assistance to all employees and their families.   

 Last year, Vedanta had contributed Rs 201 crore in the wake of the Covid crisis. This included a contribution to the PM-CARES Fund and Vedanta’s commitment of catering to three specific areas–livelihood of the daily wage workers across the nation, preventive health care and support to all its employees and contract partners across its plant locations.