Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Chief secretary, Jharkhand, interviewed by Abhishek Angad (The Indian Express)
-The Indian Express
We have ordered supplies. We have made arrangements and at maximum we can deal with 2,000 COVID-19 patients at a time, says Devendra Kumar Tiwari.
Ranchi: Devendra Kumar Tiwari, the top bureaucrat in Jharkhand, which has till date not reported any confirmed case of coronavirus, tells ABHISHEK ANGAD that the state administration is ready to address the situation if there’s an outbreak. Excerpts:
* Jharkhand has a substantial population in the unorganised sector – around 90 per cent of the workforce. Is there any data to help these people in the aftermath of the lockdown?
The figures have changed, but as of now 2.55 crore people in Jharkhand have been covered under PDS (public distribution system), and we are in the process of giving two months’ ration to them. Around 8 lakh people whose applications were pending for ration cards will be given 10 kg rice. We are reaching out to all of them. If the crisis escalates, proper measures will be taken.
* What measures have been taken so far to mitigate their suffering?
We have 25 lakh active MGNREGA card-holders and Rs 150 crore have been pumped into the system to clear their dues till date. More work will be given to them if the crisis continues. We will give three-month pension to the beneficiaries in Jharkhand. Around 9 lakh construction workers are registered with us and we have Rs 400 crore out of cess that we get, though we are yet to decide on how to help them monetarily. Central government schemes (such as) PM Kisan and Ujjwala will continue side by side.
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Image Courtesy: The Indian Express
The Indian Express, 30 March, 2020, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-lockdown-devendra-kumar-tiwari-chief-secretary-jharkhand-daal-bhaat-centres-6337734/