Naveen Empowers Panchayats In Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced a proactive, humane and scientific approach to facilitate the return of people of Odisha stranded outside the State after the restrictions are lifted. This will be done through a community-based monitoring system involving GPs & ULBs.
Addressing the people of Odisha today, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “My dear brothers and sisters 10 days ago I spoke to all of you on 9th April. In these 10 days, the number of positive cases in the world has increased from 15 Lakh to 23 lakh. In our country, cases have tripled to 15,000 and deaths have more than doubled from 200 to 500.”
“Odisha had 42 positive cases and one death and today, we have 61 positive cases.Our tests have tripled and our active cases have come down. This was possible because of your complete support sacrifice at all levels and our dedicated machinery,” said Naveen.
The Odisha CM said; “One of the key factors in controlling the spread in Odisha was the mandatory registration of all foreign returnees and placing them in compulsory quarantine. In our state, we have about one lakh persons from other States whom the State is taking care of.
Similarly, there are lakhs of brothers and sisters from Odisha in other states (students, professionals, stranded pilgrims and patients and a large number of workers). In spite of the best efforts of our state and the host states, life is not normal for them and it pains me.”
When the restrictions are lifted Odisha, in coordination with the host State and Government of India, will facilitate the return of all those who want to come back home. We will have a scientific technology-based system to facilitate this, he added.
Naveen, however, said that the magnitude of the exercise demands a decentralized approach and the nature of the problem demands a humane approach. Both these will be accomplished by a community-based monitoring system involving Gram Panchayats and Urban local bodies.
“Every Gram Panchayat will have a Registration facility to facilitate the return of people. It is mandatory for people to register before return. Their relatives in the village can register on their behalf. They will be placed in Panchayat Quarantine facilities for 14 days. Accommodation, food, and treatment will be provided free of cost. Further on successful completion of quarantine, Rs.2000 will be given as incentive,” announced the Chief Minister.
Further, he said that registration, streamlined movement, and 14-day quarantine are very important to protect the returnee, their own families, the community and the state at-large.
“To implement this effectively and with a humane touch the State government in a historic move, delegates the powers of District Collectors to the Sarpanches of the Gram Panchayats for their jurisdiction, under the provisions of Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act of 2005, The Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 ,read with Odisha COVID-19 Regulations 2020, said Naveen.
“Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary solutions. Empowering panchayats and Urban local bodies will facilitate smooth movement, track and monitor the returnees, and strengthen our fight against COVID-19. In my view, every life is precious and has to be protected in a dignified manner. The involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions which are peoples’ institutions at the grassroots will go a long way in this,” concluded the Odisha CM.

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