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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhadrak: Days after the nation-wide lockdown was lifted, Odisha government put the Sarpanchs and village-level authorities at the forefront to manage the migrant influx and ensure that every single migrant upon arrival undergoes a mandatory quarantine at the Temporary Medical Camps (TMC) set up close to their respective villages.

The village heads were not only assigned with the responsibility to identify and put the migrants in quarantine, but they also looked after their accommodation, food, treatment and other basic needs, as directed by CM Naveen.

However, several Sarpanchs in Bhadrak district have now staged a dharna demanding payment of pending dues. They have alleged that they are yet to receive the amount they have spent in managing TMCs despite having submitted bills to the block authorities.

[caption id="attachment_477297" align="aligncenter" width="750"]protest Sarpanchs Stage Protest Demanding Payment Of Dues[/caption]

The Sarpanchs also submitted a memorandum to the district Collector in this regard, sources said.

Sarpanch of Ranajit Panchayat, Manoj Nayak said "The government made us spend so much money but we still haven't received the amount that we have spent. Some have shelled out Rs 5 lakhs, some have spent Rs 10 lakhs. Now a total of Rs 1,07,00,000 is pending. We have been requesting for the last two months to give us our money but nobody listened to us."

Sadasiva Das, Sarpanch of Naami Panchayat said "Whatever money has been spent for management of TMC, should be given to us as early as possible. Those people who were hired to do the necessary tasks and those who stayed at the centre have also not been paid."

Responding to the matter, Bhandaripokhari BDO acknowledged that their demand is genuine and he has also apprised the Collector requesting to look after the issue so that the dues are cleared at the earliest.

"Now that the TMCs have closed, expenses borne by them for food and other essentials should be paid back to them. We have reported the government about this matter. As we haven't received money from the government, we are not able to pay them back yet. We are trying to resolve this issue and I have intimated them about it," said the BDO, Bijay Sahu.

The State government recently decided to shut the COVID Care Centres (CCCs), TMCs and COVID Care Homes (CCHs) due to nil occupancy.

"The occupancy in TMCs and CCHs is virtually nil. Hence, these facilities should be immediately closed down. In the case of CCCs the occupancy has dramatically fallen and in many of them, there are no patients. Hence, CCCs should also be closed down wherever there are no patients and in other places where the occupancy is less it should be scaled down and the requisite manpower be remobilised to their original positions and in case of CCHS, the health personnel can be redeployed in the districts where their services can be better utilised," a government notice mentioned.

As per reports, Odisha government had set up 17,647 TMCs with 8,26,079 beds and 178 COVID Care Centers with 21,059 beds, with the aim to quarantine the migrants and provide proper medical facilities to the asymptomatics so as to reduce the rush at the dedicated COVID hospitals.

Read More:

Odisha Govt’s Decision To Close Down COVID Care Centres & TMCs Invites Sharp Criticisms

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