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Sarpanchs continue to have powers of collectors in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said Sarpanchs will continue to have the powers of district collectors in enforcing lockdown in their areas.

They are free to start temporary medical centres (TMCs) based on need and inflow of people from outside.

To start with, the State has started functioning zonal TMCs as flow of people from outside is very less compared to last year, said the Chief Minister at the all-party meeting here.

He said a 3-month house-to-house survey (for Covid symptoms and co-morbid conditions) by ASHAs and AWWs will be launched beginning 24th  May, for which they will be given an additional incentive of Rs 1000 per month for these 3 months.

As ASHAs monitor home isolation cases, they will be provided one time assistance of Rs 10,000 for bicycle, cupboard, slippers, umbrella and torch.

“GAON KALYAN SAMITIS are at the cutting edge of our outreach and they are there in almost every village. An amount of Rs 10,000 per GKS will be sanctioned for undertaking Covid related activities at village level involving the community,” he added.

 “It is expected that there will be more waves of this virus infection. We have to be prepared for the long-drawn battle,” said the Chief Minister.

 “Vaccination is our main strategy to fight the virus. In view of the vaccine supply issues in the country, we have floated a global tender to try and procure quickly the vaccines to protect our people. We have also formed a high-level advisory committee to guide the State in its fight against the virus,” said Patnaik.

To further strengthen the oxygen management and to prepare a Master plan for the state, the Chief Minister announced a Taskforce that will look at immediate needs as well as holistic planning for future exigencies.

 “Covid has devastated many families in the State. We intend to provide a healing touch to such Covid affected families by continuing to cover the widows and orphan children under the Madhubabu Pension Yojana. The children will also get free education facilities,” he said.

 The Government will allow expenditure from MLALADS up to Rs 50 lakhs for assisting in activities related to covid management, including procurement of masks from Mission Shakti groups to provide for poor people.