August 29, 2021 2:50:36 am
Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani on Saturday alleged that there is a scam brewing in the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination in Gujarat, where beneficiaries in some cases exist only on paper.
Speaking at a public event at Vadgam where he inaugurated an oxygen plant, Mevani said, “As a responsible MLA, I am saying that in Banaskantha and in other districts, there is a Covid vaccination scam going on. Only 100-150 people are being vaccinated and on (official) record 450-500 people are shown as vaccinated.”
Mevani, an MLA from Vadgam assembly constituency, said that if people who have not been vaccinated try to get vaccinated, they are told by the local authorities that they are already vaccinated. “I am saying with full responsibility that there is a scam going on in Banaskantha and in other parts of Gujarat,” he reiterated.
Talking about the oxygen plant that he inaugurated, Mevani said he had tried to crowdfund the initiative by roaming on the streets in Vadgam and elsewhere. “A total of Rs 36 lakh was collected and the state government froze the bank account (of the NGO). The government felt that till the time they set up an oxygen plant, Vadgam should not have one. This was the time when lives were to be saved… Even such time, you (government) engaged in political slugfest,” he said adding that a petition filed by all the opposition MLAs, including him, forced the government to allow MLAs to utilise their grants for Covid purposes.
The oxygen plant has been set up at a primary health centre in Chhapi village in Vadgam taluka of Banaskantha district. The plant, producing eight cubic metric tonne of oxygen, can refill over 800 jumbo oxygen cylinders in a day.
Demanding doubling of health and education budget for Gujarat, he said, “We are demanding a hospital worth Rs 100 crore in each of the 33 districts of the state.”
Mevani said the second wave of Covid burst the “Gujarat model” bubble as many people in the state passed away after getting infected. “There is a limit to lying. In the Parliament, which represents people of the country, it was told that not a single person died of oxygen shortage. As a government, the failure should have been accepted and future should have been planned accordingly. But instead of feeling ashamed of what happened, they deny any Covid deaths due to oxygen shortage. Our heads hang in shame (hearing this),” he said.
The MLA also pointed out that there was no MRI or a CT scan equipment in primary healthcare centres or community healthcare centres in Banaskantha. He said a person with a lung disease in the border village of Suigam will have to travel all the way to Ahmedabad to get this facility. “This is the development of Gujarat,” he added.
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