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Covid: J’khand Cong lashes Centre for u-turn on compensation to victims

Ranchi: Ruling Congress has written to chief minister Hemant Soren urging him to grant Rs 1 lakh fiscal assistance to kin of covid-19 victims and lashed out at BJP led government in the Centre for its u-turn on compensation to the pandemic hit families. Addressing a press conference at Congress office in Ranchi on Wednesday, party president Rajesh Thakur and state’s rural development minister Alamgir Alam said that they have shot a letter to chief minister to consider Rs 1 lakh, i.e. 25 percent of the total compensation enshrined under disaster management act, from state ex-chequer and demanded the Centre to provide remaining 75 percent, which is Rs 3 lakh.

Alam said, “In March 2020, the government of India enforced the Disaster Management Act (DMA) and promised Rs 4 lakh to kin/family of those who died of Covid-19. But recently, it did a U-turn by giving an affidavit in Supreme Court that it can only provide Rs 50,000.”

The duo added that the state’s coalition government would bear 25 per cent share and demanded that the Centre could at least provide Rs 3 lakh as compensation. “Under DMA, there is a clear provision of Rs 4 lakh compensation to those who die due to mishaps notified under it. Since DMA and the Epidemic Act have been enforced in the country because of the pandemic, the Centre is bound to pay Rs 4 lakh. But it is running away from its responsibility. We have written to the chief minister to grant Rs 1 lakh, which is 25 per cent of Rs 4 lakh, compensation. The Centre must give the remaining Rs 3 lakh to all sufferers immediately,” Alam said.

As per the state health records, close to 5,000 people have succumbed to Covid in Jharkhand since the outbreak of infections in March last year. The two added that the state government would consider providing Rs 1 lakh to the kin of Covid casualties in Jharkhand even if the Centre remained non-committal. “Our government is trying to work out the modalities,” said Thakur.