Yatra matter headed for Supreme Court
The Uttarakhand government has decided to challenge the Uttarakhand High Court stay on Char Dham Yatra in Supreme Court. Officials from the state government said the stay will be challenged on the grounds of preparedness, socio-economic reasons and various other factors. Subodh Uniyal, spokesperson of the government and state cabinet minister, said: “The directives were issued before we got the honorable high court’s orders. Soon an appeal will be filed in the honorable Supreme Court.”
Backlog deaths and hospitals in the dock
The Uttarakhand state health department has issued notices to 13 hospitals in the after reporting 218 backlog deaths. The number of backlog deaths in the state has jumped to 1,217. In all, 15 hospitals in the state reported these deaths. District Kospital, Pithoragarh, topped the chart with 47. As per law, hospitals have to report deaths within 24 hours. In many cases, deaths were reported much later. These backlog deaths have raised questionsd about the real death toll in Uttarakhand. Interestingly, 89 backlog deaths were reported on October 17, followed by 29 on May 9 and 65 May 14. On June 23, Uttarakhand High Court came down heavily on the state government over audit of Covid-19 deaths in the second wave of the pandemic. A division bench said: “This is totally vague and not acceptable.”
State low on health budget expenditure
Among the Himalayan states, Uttarakhand has the lowest percent of total revenue budget expenditure on public health at 6.8%, compared to J&K (7.7%), Northeast (7.5%) and Himachal Pradesh (7.6%), according to a recent research conducted by analysts in the state. “States that invest more in public health will be able to ensure safe and sustained growth. Unfortunately for Uttarakhand, the scenario has been just the opposite,” says Rishabh Shrivastava, head of research and communications, Social Development for Communities Foundation.
Roorkee tech hub becomes functional
Divyasampark I-Hub Roorkee for Devices Materials and Technology Foundation, that intends to serve as a cyber-physical systems (CPS) technology hub and promote technology innovation and entrepreneurship, became fully functional at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee last week. The Technology Innovation Hub is founded under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS), and seeks to act as a unified solution for nearly 356 central technologies. Financially supported by the Government of India, cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 135 crore for the next five years.