A day after Punjab Chief Bhagwant Mann gave nod to convert non-functional Sewa Kendras (service centers) into Mohalla Clinics, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday opposed the move saying Sewa Kendras struck the biggest blow to corruption in the state.
Badal demanded the CM to “immediately reverse the retrograde decision to convert 1,600 Sewa Kendras established by the erstwhile SAD-led government to provide 78 essential services to the people into Mohalla Clinics”.
In a statement here, the SAD president said instead of re-starting all 2,100 Sewa Kendras instead of the limited 500 kept open by the previous Congress government, the AAP government was destroying a novel citizen centric scheme by converting the Sewa Kendras into Mohalla Clinics despite the fact that the state already had 3,000 functional medical sub-centers and dispensaries in both rural and urban areas.
Asking the CM to study the Punjab Model which came up with the Right to Service Act in 2011 to ensure provision of all essential services to citizens in a time bound manner, the SAD chief said this futuristic system, which was emulated by other states also, should not be jettisoned to ape a failed scheme of the Delhi government.
“We all know how the Mohalla Clinics failed miserably during the Covid pandemic in giving any relief to the people of Delhi. A large number of these clinics, which were opened with great fanfare and publicity worth crores, are non-functional. Copying the same scheme in Punjab will be disastrous and will take away investment which is needed in other core areas of health-care including the need for super specialty services,” he said.
Asserting that AAP had come to power promising an end to corruption, Badal said it was shocking that the government wanted to bury a scheme which had struck the biggest blow to corruption in the state.
He said the Sewa Kendras had not only stopped the harassment meted out to people in government offices but had eliminated corruption while seeking citizen services.
Badal said the closure of 500 existing Sewa Kendras would also render 1,500 youth unemployed. “AAP has come to power on the promise of creating lakhs of jobs but instead is taking away existing jobs,” he added.