Nagpur: The Corona blast rocked the marathon 7-hour General Body Meeting of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) as the ruling and Opposition Corporators slammed the civic administration over the sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the city. The General Body Meeting was held virtually on Thursday. The elected representatives from across all parties claimed that the spike in coronavirus cases was due to NMC’s callous attitude and said that the present Covid situation was worse than what the city witnessed in September last year.
The civic administration and elected representatives were at loggerheads over the sudden spurt of Covid-19 cases in the city. During the NMC general body meeting held virtually on Thursday, the elected representatives blamed the administration for the spike in coronavirus cases.
Corporators from across all parties claimed that the spike in coronavirus cases was due to NMC’s callous attitude and said that the present Covid situation was worse than what the city witnessed in September last year.
The issue was discussed in the General Body Meeting following an adjournment motion moved by former Mayor Pravin Datke. Datke counted shortcomings of the NMC administration in tackling the increasing cases of the dreaded virus. Mayor Dayashankar Tiwari directed the civic administration to increase the number of vaccination centres and also to start one 24-hour vaccination centre in every Assembly constituency from April 1. Tiwari also directed the administration to initiate corrective measures immediately and take the apathetic staffers to task by imposing fines.
Praful Gudadhe Patil, participating in the discussion, said that the steps taken by civic administration are not adequate. Decentralization of the system is need of the hour to curb the menace.
Senior Corporator Abha Pande said the Mayor is active despite his wife being hospitalized due to corona. On the other hand, the NMC administration is lethargic. She claimed that influential positive patients without having any serious health complications have occupied beds in hospitals. Pande demanded vaccination centres in Samaj Bhavans.
Congress Corporator Kamlesh Chowdhary raised the issue of private hospitals looting the patients on the pretext of treatment and vaccination. Many of the announced Covid Centres have not been started. The corona positive patients and their relatives are roaming in city and stoking fire.
Former Mayor Nanda Jichkar said that mass awareness is must for breaking the chain of Covid-19 cases. For this, help of jobless small artists can be taken. In this corona time, neither the administration is serious nor the public.
Initiating the discussion, former Mayor Pravin Datke said that 20,000 RT-PCR tests should be done every day. The test reports should be given at the earliest. The increasing positive cases among employees in NMC Headquarters is a cause of concern, he said and demanded 24×7 vaccination centres in all six Assembly constituencies in city. There should be recruitment of temporary/contract technicians operating ventilators at various hospitals.
Replying to Datke’s motion, Additional Municipal Commissioner Ram Joshi informed the House that there are 79 private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients. All these hospitals have 2,936 beds including 1,839 oxygenated beds, 994 ICU beds and 261 beds with ventilator facilities. Similarly, the eight government-run hospitals have 1,515 beds comprising 1,152 oxygenated beds, 319 ICU beds and 271 beds with ventilator facilities. Joshi also claimed that both private and government hospitals had beds available as on Thursday morning. However, his claim was refuted by Corporators, including Pande, who maintained that even government hospitals like GMCH had a waiting period for admitting positive patients. Lack of beds is leading to death of patients with severe complications due to Covid-19 infection, they informed the House.
The Mayor Dayashankar Tiwari directed that maximum number of sanitary workers should be vaccinated and also stopped 50 per cent of next month’s pay of those workers who do not come forward for vaccination. He said the civic body is working to develop an app wherein people can have information about availability of vacant beds on tips of their fingers. At present, people can get information by contacting Corona Control Room located at civic headquarters. Tiwari advised the civic chief to see whether Covid-19 tests can be moved to places like community halls or any other public places from primary health centres. The existing PHCs can be utilized for vaccinations, said the Mayor.
Efforts being made since 1986 for a government bungalow on the lines of other cities. In the GBM held on Thursday, a proposal on a PWD marked land was tabled for the purpose. According to the proposal, there is a PWD land admeasuring 31080 sq ft under City Survey No. 1612 in Sitabuldi. This land has been included in DP plan for government/semi government use. The said land is being sought for Mayor’s bungalow. The move was opposed by Congress Corporator Praful Gudadhe Patil saying that then Corporator Dadasaheb Borkar had demanded construction of a hospital instead of bungalow for the Mayor at said land. Based in the demand, the present Indira Gandhi Hospital was build near Gandhinagar Square. At that time the land was chosen for Mayor’s bungalow. Hence instead of Mayor’s bungalow, stress should be on boosting healthcare facilities which would prove beneficial for general public.