Fill lacunae in management of COVID-19: Chavan tells CM

Updated: Apr 25, 2020, 07:27 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan writes to Uddhav Thackeray, says govt must issue specific instructions about testing and cost

Prithviraj Chavan, former chief minister
Prithviraj Chavan, former chief minister

Former chief minister and Congress MLA Prithviraj Chavan has pointed out certain lacunae in the pandemic management, especially regarding testing and food requirements, and the plight of private doctors who don't have protection. He wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, asking him to fill these and bring clarity to orders issued for relaxing lockdown restrictions.

Chavan said he found the issues troubling the people in his constituency, South Karad, but many other legislators mid-day discussed the matter with endorsed his findings, saying similar problems existed across the state. "There are no specific instructions on testing... Private doctors should be given personal protection equipment through district collectors," said Chavan. A legislator from Mumbai said people were paying a higher price for testing at private labs. "There is no clarity and enforcement," he added.

Chavan has discovered that people are not able to procure food grains through the public distribution system (PDS), because the government hasn't issued a resolution (GR) saying that the PDS groceries should be distributed without taking biometric details of beneficiaries on the POS (point of sale) machines, because these will transmit infection.

"There is a notification about this, but the PDS retailers and beneficiaries are unaware because there is no GR (which makes compliance mandatory). The GR should be issued and the state told about it through TV commercials," Chavan told Thackeray. He also asked for three-month rations and Rs 2,000 each to migrant labourers who don't have state ration cards but have Aadhaar details.

Allow newspaper delivery

Chavan also said newspaper delivery should be allowed so that the people get authentic information. Wi-fi service providers should be asked to reduce rates at least for three months. He said farmers were worried about crop loans and availability of seeds and fertilisers. He wants minimum support price declared and a three-month moratorium on recovery of debt applied to farmers' societies. He also demanded that the moratorium on crop loans taken from national and cooperative banks should be increased to six months with accumulated interest paid by the government.

Bring back students

Chavan said some 7,000 students from Maharashtra were stranded abroad. "They don't have lodging and boarding facilities. We must send planes to fly them home," he said.

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