CUTTACK: Despite Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s appeal to ensure proper implementation of Covid-19 guidelines, the norms are found violated with impunity at different government programmes being organised by the district administration. The latest case in point is the facilitation camp for persons with disabilities (PwDs) held at Mahanga, home constituency of Law Minister Pratap Jena, on Tuesday. Hundreds of people including 336 PwDs from 37 gram panchayats of Mahanga block attended the camp in blatant violation of the Covid safety protocols.
Social distancing norms to check the spread of Covid went for a toss with people crowding and jostling against each other to get their disability certificate. Most of them were not wearing masks and many of those who were wearing one didn’t seem to be concerned about keeping it at the right place. Even, no policemen or volunteers were engaged for ensuring social distancing.
Mahanga Panchayat Samiti in association with the department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability had organised ‘Bhima Bhoi Bhinnakshyama Samarthya Sibir’ on the premises of Acharya Pyari Mohan Vidya Niketan at Pashulunda to identify, empower and provide multi-sectoral services to PwDs through a single window approach. “I am afraid that I may be infected as I was caught in the rush for some time,” said a senior citizen of Mahanga.
Meanwhile, Jena has convened a review meeting on MGNREGS at Prativa Bhawan in Mahanga on Thursday where as many as 212 PRI members and officials from Mahanga and Nischintakoili blocks are slated to attend. “We are scared to attend the review meeting in such a huge gathering under the prevailing Covid situation. The review meeting could have been done virtually,” said an official on condition of anonymity. Mahanga BDO Nihar Ranjan Mallick, however, refused to comment on the issue and said steps will be taken for maintaining social distance at the government programmes.