Patna, March 27 (PTI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday announced fresh measures to ramp up financial and logistical support to fight the coronavirus pandemic which has so far claimed one life in the state while eight others have tested positive.
At a high-level meeting that he chaired, Kumar said all members of the state''s Legislative Council and Assembly shall be allowed to recommend a sum of Rs 50 lakh each or more to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
The measure will boost the Chief Ministers Relief Fund with contributions from 243 MLAs and 75 MLCs.
"All MLAs and MLCs can recommend a sum of Rs three crore each every year for development projects in their areas under the Mukhyamantri Kshetriya Vikas Yojana. We have decided to allow allocation a sum of Rs 50 lakh or more by each legislator for the fight against coronavirus," Kumar said.
The Mukhyamantri Kshetriya Vikas Yojana came into being about a decade ago after the earlier MLAs'' local development scheme was scrapped following allegations of irregularities in their utilization by the respective legislators.
Following the announcement, Congress MLC and AICC media panellist Prem Chandra Mishra said in a video message: "I had made a request to this effect on the previous day vide a tweet addressed to the chief minister. I am glad that action has been taken fast. I hereby announce Rs 50 lakh from my side."
The chief minister also told the meeting, attended by members of his cabinet and top officials that the state government will not allow any shortage of funds to come in the way of meeting this health crisis.
He also said efforts were being made, locally, to meet the shortfall of facemasks and hand sanitiser.
"Women associated with the Jeevika self-help groups are using their expertise in sewing and stitching to manufacture facemasks for use by the general public. These cannot be of use to medical personnel who need masks of a different kind which is a part of full protective gear. For that separate arrangements are being made," he added.
Similarly, manufacturing units in Hajipur and Bhojpur have been involved in making sanitizer to meet the shortfall, the chief minister added.
"We had decided to increase our stock of ventilators by at least 100. Funds have been released for the purpose. We hope these would arrive soon," he said.
Kumar also advised the health department to set up "a dedicated fund for the benefit of poor patients who recover from coronavirus after treatment. We have a provision of this type for patients of kaala aazar who receive assistance of Rs 6,600 upon discharge from hospital so that they can make their ends meet while they are convalescing and not able to resume work."
He also directed that at the special "aapada raahat kendras" set up for the homeless, "care must be taken that physical distance is maintained among the inmates. Please ensure that while they are being fed, they are not made to huddle too close to each other". PTI NAC NN NN NN
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI