JEYPORE: At a time when threat of a third wave of the pandemic is imminent, the Koraput administration is diverting Covid distress management funds from Gaon Kalyan Samitis (GKS) for distribution of BSKY smart health cards in the district next month. There are 1,911 GKSs in Koraput.
Sources said, the State government directed fund diversion from all GKSs in Koraput through an order in August and the district administration initiated the process this month. As per the government order, Rs 5,000 will be diverted from Covid management fund of each GKS for BSKY camps and Information Education Communication (IEC) work at panchayat level besides activities for the card distribution ceremony. Accordingly, block development officers have started diverting GKS money from CDPOs and panchayat extension officers for the function scheduled on December 27.
Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), each GKS in the district annually gets Rs 10,000 for yearly plan of health management and sanitation development at the village level with majority approval of samiti members. This year, each GKS received additional Rs 10,000 for Covid management to be utilised for treating patients, immediate transportation and other associated costs.
Few days back in Jeypore block, the BDO asked the child development project officer (CDPO) to divert Rs 1.2 lakh from 22 panchayats but in a later circular, said all 107 GKS in the block will divert Rs 5,000 each. Surprisingly, this is for the first time that GKS funds will be channelled to the block off ice without prior approval of the samiti members. As per norm, GKS funds can be utilised or diverted only after its members accord consent in majority.
Contacted, Jeypore BDO Suraj Patnaik confirmed fund diversion from GKS for smart health card distribution event as directed by the administration. Chief district medical officer Makaranda Behura said the fund diversion process is ongoing according to government order to meet expenses of BSKY card distribution ceremony. Reportedly, about Rs 95 lakh will be diverted from GKSs in the district for the event.