• otv
Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Amid reports of shortage and black marketing of Covid-19 medicines and medical supplies in several parts of the country, the Odisha government has constituted a State-level Committee to ensure that such issues do not crop up here.

The Committee will be headed by Crime Branch ADG Yashwant Jethwa. Already the committee had discussed several issues with Controller of Drugs yesterday.

Addressing a presser today, Jethwa said that teams of flying squads, surveillance teams and surprise checking teams from the enforcement wing of Drug Controller, Police, Special Task Force of Crime Branch will be part of Joint Enforcement squad which will carry out special drives across the State.

“We have constituted 7 flying squads for Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and 15 squads for rests of Odisha. Our focus will be on the Twin City which is the entry point for all drugs and medicines and its distribution,” said Jethwa.

According to Jethwa, the 15 other squads will conduct intensive drives in Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Balasore, Bargarh and other important urban centres in the State.

The senior cop further stated that the entire supply chain, from manufacturers to agents and even clients, will be verified. The movement of medicines and other essential supplies in the chain will be tracked and monitored. “If we come across any malpractice, hoarding or illegal trade, stern criminal action will be taken against them,” Jethwa warned.

While District SPs and range DIGs will supervise the entire operation at district-level, Drugs Controller and senior officers of the Commissionerate Police will supervise the overall working and enforcement activities in the Twin Cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

“We have not received any complaint of any irregularities in Odisha. But from media reports, we learnt that there are some instances of black marketing of Covid medicines in several other States in the country. The teams will conduct special raids, stocks will be verified and appropriate action in case of any malpractice will be initiated,” Jethwa added.

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