Hyderabad: The Congress party on Monday sought the immediate intervention of Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundarajan to help the poor people facing difficulties due to the failure of State Government in combating the Coronavirus and lockdown situation.
A three-member delegation comprising of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, Congress Legislature Party leader Bhatti Vikramarka and TPCC Covid-19 Task Force Committee Chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy called on the Governor at Raj Bhavan on Monday.
They submitted a six-page long memorandum on various failures of the State Government in handling Covid-19 situation in Telangana. They also submitted samples of sub-standard rice being supplied to poor people and also the inferior quality gunny bags being utilised to procure agriculture produce.
They told the Governor that State Government was not willing to take any advise from the opposition parties or others while Prime Minister Narender Modi led government at the Centre was involving all Chief Ministers and other opposition leaders in decision making process. They alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was taking unilaterally decisions without consulting anyone which consequently resulted in Telangana facing worst ever crisis in its history.
Speaking to media persons after meeting the Governor, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress leaders expressed deep concern over under-testing for Covid-19 suspects and under-reporting of Covid-19 deaths in Telangana. He said there were inadequate provisions of appropriate Personal Protection Equipment in government hospitals. Referring to the many unscientific statements given by CM KCR in the past like Coronavirus could be treated with a Paracetamol tablet, he said that the CM has continued with an unscientific and irrational approach towards containment of Covid-19 in Telangana state with low level of testing.
“The daily health bulletin is different in Telangana from all other states in that there is no information given as regards the number of Corona virus tests done / being done. After 29 April, the government of Telangana has totally stopped disclosing the number of Corona virus tests done in Telangana. We are enclosing the available data on all Covid-19 tests status in various Indian states as on 29th April and as on 3rd May.
The number of tests per million population for India is 876 tests (as on 3rd May) while the last figure available for Telangana is 551 (as on 29 April 2020). Much smaller states have done far higher number of tests than Telangana state. It is also surprising that the Government of Telangana has issued an official circular that no deceased person shall be tested for Corona if his family members are doubtful of the cause of death (order copy is enclosed). There is a growing doubt and suspicion in the people of Telangana that fewer tests are being done to keep the number of Corona positive cases low,” Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged.
The Congress leaders also urged the Governor to advise the government to give Rs.10 lakhs as ex gratia to those who die because of Corona Virus because most of the deceased are from poor families and are the sole bread winners. They also sought the Governor’s intervention in advising the state government to give at least Rs. 5000/- per family for BPL families irrespective of whether they have white ration card or not. They also demanded that the government provide better quality rice as nearly 80% of beneficiaries were not using it for personal consumption.
Further, they said despite 40 days of lockdown, the 1 kg of Dal promised by the Centre, has not been delivered to any single family so far in Telangana. The same may be expedited, they demanded. They also demanded one free LPG cylinder per month for Deepam scheme beneficiaries on par with Ujwala scheme beneficiaries.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the State Government was in a state of confusion over migrant workers. “CM KCR had announced that there were 3.5 lakh migrant labour from other states in Telangana. Then an official announced that there were 6.2 lakh migrant labourers and three days back, Minister T. Srinivas Yadav announced that there are 15 lakh migrant labour in Telangana. If the government could not even get this number right about migrant labour, it can be well understood as to how they were taken care of,” he said.
“Adequate food and shelter need to be provided immediately for all migrant labour in Telangana. The State Government needs to make arrangements for Telangana people stranded in other States to be brought back and also for other State migrant labour to be transported to other States (for those who want to go back to their home States),” he said.
With regard to procurement of agricultural produce, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the State Government did not supply adequate number of gunny bags and tarpaulin (pattas) to procurement centres in time. About 4 to 5 year old gunny bags with number of holes in them were supplied in paddy procurement centres by civil supplies corporation. “Because gunny bags were not purchased in time and provided to procurement centres, the paddy has got damaged by rain in many places in Telangana. Became the damage was caused due to government negligence in not arranging gunny bags & tarpaulins (pattas) at the correct time, the government must procure the wet paddy at MSP,” he demanded.
“The government must immediately direct traders or rice millers not to take more than 1 kg (as wastage) for every 40 kg bag. Hamali charges of Rs.35 per quintal have to be immediately reimbursed by the government as per earlier practice. The dues of women self help groups who run the IKP Centres are pending now for the 4th consecutive crop. These dues must be paid by the government immediately. The overdue custom milling charges of the rice millers running into a thousand crores must be paid immediately by the government. Loss due to hailstorm damage must be compensated to the farmers immediately,” the Congress leaders demanded.
Uttam Kumar Reddy reiterated the demand for release of White Paper on State’s financial situation. “Experts widely believe that Telangana has been pushed into near bankruptcy not by Corona virus but the financial mismanagement, wasteful expenditure and drawing of Rs. 3 lakh crore loans (whose repayment has commenced now). We requested the Governor to advise the State Government to release a white paper on the financial position. The Governor was also urged to consider asking the government to put on public domain the collections and expenditure of CMRF,” he said.
“In this time of crisis for unemployed, the TRS government must fulfil their election promise and start the payment of Rs.3016/- Unemployment Allowance immediately. We also suggest that available Mineral Fund in all the districts be utilized to upgrade the medical infrastructure. MGNREGA field assistants who were on strike earlier and have offered to rejoin their duties unconditionally must be taken back immediately so as to restore MGNREGA works,” he demanded.
The TPCC chief said that the State Government has diverted Rs. 900 crore from Building Construction Workers Fund in violation of Supreme Court orders. Therefore, he said that diverted funds be immediately returned and utilised to pay Rs. 2000/- to each of 8.2 lakh construction workers in Telangana.