With the Assembly elections just a few months away, the BBMP seems to be taking all efforts to help the state government face the polls.
On Monday, Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy announced that the Vajpayee Arogyashree Scheme, which was restricted only to 4.9 lakh BPL card holders in the BBMP limits, would be extended to other weaker sections of society too.
Speaking on the eve of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday, the mayor said the scheme would now benefit 2.7 lakh more families, including slum dwellers, contract pourakarmikas, widows, autorickshaw drivers and physically-challenged people.
Each beneficiary family would be brought under a `2 lakh insurance cover and the family members could get treatment for more than 400 ailments including cancer and kidney problems within the coverage amount.
Only 269 people with BPL cards availed themselves of this facility in 2011-12, but in the coming days at least 2.7 lakh families were expected to benefit under the scheme, he said.
Murthy said the BBMP had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Suvarna Suraksha Trust and had provided `1 crore in advance. Now, the beneficiaries could get treatment in 54 multi-specialty hospitals.
Asked about the BBMP’s financial status, the mayor said there was no dearth for funds. “The Central government is allocating Rs 250 crore under the National Urban Health Mission in the next budget,” he said.
“We will identify the beneficiaries in an year,” he added.