In emergency meet, Murmu’s cabinet takes crucial decisions

TNN Bureau. Updated: 3/25/2020 11:53:43 AM Front Page

Daily wagers’ salary, ration packet for slums, GMC&H-J dedicated COVID hospital, retired doctors to be hired

JAMMU: With the coronavirus cases almost doubling in the union territory, the Administrative Council—equivalent to cabinet in popular government, held an emergency meeting on Tuesday night, approving a number of welfare measures, particularly for the most vulnerable sections and the unorganised sector in the context of the situation emerging.
With Lt Governor G C Murmu in chair and three of his advisors, Chief Secretary, and other senior officials in the attendance, the Administrative Council decided on the immediate release of one month’s wages in respect of all daily wagers so that they do not face any difficulty due to the current situation, with appropriate directions issued to Finance Department to take requisite measures in this regard.
The Council noted that slum dwellers, other urban poor, destitutes were among the most affected by the present situation. In view of the difficulties being faced by them, it was decided that ration packets be immediately distributed among them The Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir and all the Deputy Commissioners were asked to work out detailed modalities in this regard and take action on war footing.
The Administrative Council also decided that 2 months advance ration viz. for April and May be issued to all ration card holders. It was also decided that one month’s ration for Mid-Day Meals would also be distributed in advance amongst the parents of eligible children.
The meeting also reviewed the steps being taken to contain the spread of the Corona Virus.
In a significant decision, the meeting decided to declare the GMC Jammu as a dedicated COVID hospital for Jammu province. It asked the Administrative Secretary Health Department and the Principal of the GMC to ensure that the hospital would be readied for the purpose by Wednesday evening.
The Council also noted that there were a number of underserved areas facing an acute shortage of doctors. In order to mitigate the problem, it accorded approval to the hiring of retired doctors against available vacancies for one year for emergency services in underserved areas.
The meeting directed the Health department to review the availability of all equipment including ventilators and procure additional equipments as required on a war footing.
The meeting also reviewed the operation of the decision of the administration to seal the interstate borders with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh UT. It issued instructions to the Divisional Commissioners and Police administration to ensure that the directions in this regard be implemented strictly on ground. Regarding inter district operations, the council directed that all movement be strictly restricted and regulated. However, it advised the administration to ensure that a smooth system of passes be operationalised so that essential supplies and services would continue uninterrupted.
In this connection, it also issued instructions to the Civil Supplies department to closely monitor the availability and continuous replenishment of all essential commodities.
In view of the restrictions on the movement of traffic on the highways, the SRTC was directed to run Jammu-Srinagar and inter district services as required. It was also decided that passes for vehicles of essential services personnel shall be issued as required.
The meeting also directed the SRTC and State Motor Garages to undertake fumigation of their vehicles to ensure all cleanliness of their fleets and prevent any spread of infection.
It may be recalled that the Government had already ordered releases of Rs. 40 Cr to the districts as an emergency measures besides releasing funds to Municipal bodies, PHE Department and other relevant Departments. The Administrative Council noted that the funds to the DCs had already been released. The Divisional Commissioners were directed to ensure that these resources were expeditiously and effectively utilised in COVID mitigation efforts.
The Administrative Council also appreciated the contribution of the frontline Medical Staff, the sanitation and other staff as well other essential staff who were working tirelessly despite the difficult circumstances. It also recorded its appreciation of the tremendous cooperation and support being rendered by ordinary citizens. It appealed to the people to continue its support to the administration and to follow the advisory being issued from time to time by the health and other departments.

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