PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Sunday charged the Centre with "letting down" the Union Territory and also to several other states by turning a deaf ear to their repeated pleas for allocation of funds to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing reporters here, the Chief Minister said, "The Puducherry government for instance has been sincerely taking steps to keep the spread of the pandemic at bay.
But the Centre is not listening to our repeated pleas for financial assistance so that our performance would be still better," he said.
"We are concerned with the lives of the people and hence persuade the Centre to extend grants to strengthen facilities in the hospital," he contended.
Narayanasamy said he would bring to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi the hardships caused by the Centre without sanctioning funds to tackle the pandemic situation, during the video conference scheduled with CMs of various states on June 16.
"It is the duty of the Centre to extend liberal grants to states during the current alarming situation. States and Union Territories showing good work should be encouraged. The failure of the Centre to provide funds is causing great hardships to Puducherry.
We have already suffered serious decline in flow of revenue because of the lockdowns enforced for nearly three months," he said and urged the Centre to provide funds to help Puducherry wriggle out of the present fiscal crisis.
Dispirited over the "failure" of the public at various places in Puducherry in adopting norms such as social distancing and wearing of masks, the Chief Ministersaid, "the territorial government is mulling steps to intensify stringent measures."
"We will wait for two to three days and see if the people abide by the norms. If there is still default on the part of businessmen and public at large we will intensify stringent measures to ensure people responded to the order," he added.
With the number of active COVID-19 cases increasing every day, the government is constrained to increase the strength of doctors, nurses, ASHA workers and ANMs in the government hospital taking care of the pandemic-hit patients.
"We will appoint doctors and other medical personnel on contract basis to beef up the strength of medical personnel.
We have also decided to procure more equipments for testing the patients, medicines andaugment other facilities in the COVID-19 hospital making use of the COVID-19 fund," he said.
The CM appealed to the people to play a proactive role so that the efforts of the territorial administration to check spread of the pandemic would turn out to be successful.