As the worst hit state from COVID-19 pandemic Maharashtra is struggling to contain the Coronavirus outbreak, state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday dismissed the opposition BJP’s demand for a package from the state government to tide over this crisis, saying that previous such measures had failed to give any tangible benefits.
The CM suggested that the need of the hour is to create additional healthcare facilities and offer treatment to people along with the distribution of food grains.
Yesterday during an online press briefing he said, “Earlier, packages worth lakhs of crores of rupees were given, but very little impact was seen on the ground.”
Thackeray said that “Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Jan Aarogya Scheme” of the state government will now cover all the people if they seek treatment in the registered hospitals.
While, on the issue of stranded migrant workers, Thackeray said, “We are taking good care of these workers and their ticket fare is also borne by the government. We are even giving meals at just Rs 5 per plate under the state’s Shiv Bhojan scheme”.
He said about 5 to 6 lakh labourers from other states are being provided breakfast and two meals at shelter homes.
“The state government never felt any burden of these labourers but they wanted to go back to their home states, and after getting due sanctions almost seven lakh labourers have been sent back on 481 Shramik trains,” he said.
The state government has paid more than 85 crore for the fare of tickets of the migrants, said Thackeray , suggesting his government paid for 100 per cent of their tickets irrespective of whether the Union government pays 85 per cent of the cost of tickets for these labourers or delays it.
“Despite our demand for operating 80 (Shramik Special) trains a day, we are getting only 30 to 40 trains for sending labourers back to their states,” he said.
A total of 3.80 lakh migrant labourers have been ferried up to the borders of their states or to railway stations in more than 32,000 ST buses, which has costed Rs 75 crore, he said at the briefing.
The CM further added that a total of 70,000 industries have been allowed to resume operations amidst the lockdown and 50,000 of them have actually started operations with six lakh people.
With 50,231 confirmed novel Coronavirus cases, Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state in the country, followed by Tamil Nadu (16,277) and Gujarat (14,056).
According to the latest data from the Union Health Ministry, Maharashtra has reported 1,635 COVID-19 deaths so far. As many as 14,600 patients have recovered.