BJP: Maharashtra government not helping weaker sections in crisis

Published: Jul 02, 2020, 09:15 IST | PTI | Mumbai

Chandrakant Patil demanded the Maharashtra government announce a financial package for workers such as maids, owners of salons and barber shops, rickshaw drivers

Chandrakant Patil
Chandrakant Patil

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government is not providing any financial aid to the weaker sections of society hit hard by the lockdown unlike the Centre which is helping the poor, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil alleged on Wednesday. Patil demanded the Maharashtra government announce a financial package for 'bara balutedars' and other workers such as maids, owners of salons and barber shops, rickshaw drivers etc.

'Bara Balutedars' is a term used to describe various constituents of the traditional village economy, including artisans. "While PM Narendra Modi is helping the people with open hands, the state government is not announcing any aid for bara balutedars, domestic maids, vegetable vendors, rickshaw drivers, barbers and others in the current times," Patil said in an online press conference. The former revenue minister said the state should rope in social organisations to manage asymptomatic COVID-19 patients so that beds in hospitals remain available for critical patients.

"Asymptomatic and moderately symptomatic patients should be treated at a non-hospital facility. Currently, even moderately symptomatic patients are occupying beds in big hospitals," Patil said. Patil said a facility in his constituency Kothrud can be turned into a para hospital if the Pune civic body grants permission. He said the facility can accommodate 350 beds where symptomatic and moderately symptomatic patients can be kept.

Patil said that except medical supervision, other expenses can be taken care of at such facility. "I am not saying that outfits associated with the BJP should only getthe permission to set up such facilities. Let the ruling NCP or Shiv Sena do it," he said. Patil said they had procured one lakh small bottles of homoeopathic medicine for distribution in Kolhapur, his home district, and Pune.

"We had procured the drug at the rate of Rs 2 per small bottle, however, the state government is procuring the same for Rs 23 (per small bottle). A tender has been submitted," he said, adding that the medicine can be purchased through Corporate Social Responsibility Fund (CSR). Patil said Kolhapur Zilla Parishad had purchased 1.25 lakh PPE kits at the rate of Rs 1,600 per unit as against the rate of Rs 400. "In COVID centres in Mumbai, the rent of a standing fan for a period of two months is Rs 2,000, but the same fan can be purchased at Rs 1,000," he added.

Patil demanded that the state government release a white paper detailing the expenses incurred on management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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