Updated: May 10, 2021 6:51:08 pm
The Gujarat Congress demanded Monday a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each for the next kin of more than 8,000 people who have died of Covid-19 in the state since the outbreak of the pandemic under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
At a press conference held at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Ahmedabad’s Paldi on Monday, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) interim president Amit Chavda said, “The coronavirus pandemic has reached extremely serious proportions in Gujarat and the situation currently is uncontrollable. After 13 months of Covid-19 pandemic, there is a sense of fear and complete anarchy among the people of Gujarat as they have to scramble for oxygen, medicine and hospital beds. It is clear that this is a government-made disaster due to the lack of coordination and willpower in the state government.”
As per the government estimates, around 8,400 people have died due to Covid-19 and lakhs have been infected, he said. “Among the deceased, a majority hail from the middleclass and the underprivileged sections of the society,” the Congress leader said.
Currently, Chavda said, three Acts are in force in the state — the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Gujarat State Disaster Management Act, and the Disaster Management Act. The first two legislations have two aspects — educational and welfare, he added. “The Gujarat government has made ample use of the educational aspect by issuing fine to mask violators, shutting down shops and businesses for curfew violations and lodging police cases for guidelines violation. However, the welfare aspect has been totally ignored until now. We demand that under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, section 12 (3), a compensation of Rs 4 lakh must be given to the families of each deceased coronavirus patient,” Chavda said.
The section 12 of the Disaster Management Act provides for ex gratia assistance on account of loss of life as also assistance on account of damage to houses and for restoration of means of livelihood.
The Congress leader added the GPCC will reach out to the families of the deceased Covid patients. “This government has an expertise in game of numbers and it has been hiding death statistics whose cognizance has also been taken by the Gujarat High Court. Therefore, the GPCC has decided to launch a Google Form so that deceased patients’ families can submit their details over there and we will forward these details to the state government so that compensation can be reached at the earliest,” Chavda said.
As of May 9, Gujarat’s overall Covid-19 caseload stood at 6,80,266 with 8,360 fatalities, as per the state health department.
On Sunday, an official communique issued by the state government had quoted Chief Minister Vijay Rupani as saying that “all the necessary resources are available in the state and people need not panic as the state government was standing by them”.
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