At a time when other states and UTs are cutting expenses due to the pandemic, two wings of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation are splurging on simple pieces of safety equipment, or ‘relief operations’ in their parlance, for Covid-19.
While the medical officer of health wing purchased ‘relief operations’ worth Rs 45 lakh, the engineering wing plans to “purchase material for control of Covid-19 at an estimated cost of Rs 53.46 lakh”. The engineering wing has already spent Rs 29.91 lakh on “works taken up specifically for containment of COVID”.
Sources say while the amounts vary, the items remain the same. Medical Officer of Health Amrit Warring said that they took post facto approval of purchase of ‘relief operations’ worth Rs 45 lakh
Asked what type of ‘relief operations’ were purchased, the MOH said, “Like masks, gloves, sanitizers. Things have already been purchased. It is just a post facto approval.”
Leader of opposition and Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said that funds should be spent carefully and the amount was really high as the masks were just simple ones that were provided to employees.
The engineering wing of the civic body said that it has to purchase material for control of Covid-19 at an estimated cost of Rs 53.46 lakh other than Rs 29.91 lakh already spent. These two have also been approved by the F and CC panel. Not just this, the civic body will be spending Rs 41 lakh on just disposing of the waste collected from quarantined houses.
This was discussed at Friday meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee comprising councillors and officials which was held almost after two months. Officials of the civic body said that they will “scientifically dispose of the waste at Industrial Area phase I”.
Medicial officer of health Amrit Warring said that a private entity has set up the incinerator in the Industrial Area. That entity has to be paid per kg of waste. “The waste has to be disposed of in a scientific way. We have to ensure it doesn’t remain in the environment,” he said.
However, leader of opposition and Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla raised an objection saying that this is sheer wastage. “The waste has to be disposed of in the incinerator. For what are they spending Rs 41 lakh? This needs to be checked by senior officials. Are they trying to take undue advantage of Covid situation?”
Also, the committee accorded approval to purchase of six green crushers for use in horticulture division at an estimated cost of Rs 19.33 lakh and purchase of one truck with hydraulic system for cattle catching at an estimated cost of Rs 15.75 lakh.
Schools to be used
Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore directed the Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner to utilise two school buildings available in Bapu Dham Colony to keep people who deserve special care. Badnore said that those Bapu Dham Colony residents whose houses are small and congested should be allowed to utilise this facility free of cost, if they opt for it.
Also, PGIMER doctors visited Bapu Dham Colony for field inspection. They will submit an interim report for immediate action by the Administration.
Principal Secretary (Health) Arun Kumar Gupta said that the Government of India’s guidelines for treatment and discharge of patients have been duly circulated. He said that a Post-Discharge Centre has been set up in Sood Dharamshala for mild patients, who are required to be discharged after 10 days from hospitals.
CTU buses to stop supply of vegetables from today
Operations of 82 CTU buses supplying vegetables and fruits to residents will be discontinued from Saturday. MC Commissioner K K Yadav said that there will be adequate number of registered vendors, who have been authorised to sell their wares on rehries in various sectors directly to the residents.
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