Assembly Session Question Hour
By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 6 Sep: Perhaps it was paucity of time in a short monsoon session that the Opposition MLAs chose to focus on the business of the House rather than creating uproar today. The Question Hour went on rather smoothly, although several supplementary questions were asked even by members of the Treasury Bench. Most of the questions were related to the Health Department and Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat responded to them. Some other questions related to sports, etc., were responded to by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal on behalf of Women Empowerment and Food & Civil Supplies Minister Rekha Arya, who was not present during Question Hour.
The most important discussion during Question Hour was held on the Dengue situation in the state. In response to a short notice question by Bhuwan Chandra Kapri, the Congress MLA from Khatima asked whether the Health Minister is aware of the worsening situation regarding Dengue and that several patients had died due to the infection, Health Minister Dr Dhan Singh Rawat said that the government is committed to free the state of Dengue. Pointing out that the Dengue infection prevails usually from May to November, each year, he claimed that the government had started its preparations to deal with the infection well in advance. Rawat also asserted that, in view of past experience, it can be said that new dengue cases may continue to be reported in the coming months. He also claimed that the death toll as a result of Dengue is 5, so far. He informed the House that 746 cases of Dengue had been reported till 1 September and, of these, 660 have recovered from the infection. He also added that more than 95 percent of the dengue patients recover from the infection without any need for hospitalisation. Currently, 900 cases have been reported in the state.
In response to a supplementary question by Kapri, Rawat claimed that there was no dearth of funds to deal with dengue. However, he did not quote any figure of how much money had been allotted or released to deal with dengue, mainly asserting that government would not allow any shortage of funds to deal with the problem. He added that it can’t be identified in advance how much money would be required to deal with the problem but the government will spend any amount necessary.
In response to a supplementary question by Pritam Singh, he said that the facility for plasma transfusion is available in all the medical colleges of the state. If there is need, the patients would even be airlifted and taken to the medical colleges for this, totally free of cost. In response to a supplementary question by Vinod Chamoli, that many patients were being forced to get admitted in private hospitals other than those empanelled under Ayushman Bharat scheme due to shortage of beds, Rawat claimed that some patients were getting admitted to private hospitals for the sake of convenience not because of shortage of beds. He said that thirty percent of the beds reserved for dengue patients were still vacant in government and empanelled hospitals.
In response to a starred question by BJP’s Doiwala MLA Brijbhushan Gairola, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal, responding on behalf of Sports Minister Rekha Arya, informed that an amount of Rs 56.62 crores had been spent to construct the Ice Skating Rink at Maharana Pratap Sports College in Dehradun in 2010. He also admitted that it was in 2012 when the Ice Skating Rink was used for a competition last. After that it remained closed till 2015 because the Executing Agency had filed a case in the High Court. In 2016, a process was initiated to lease out the rink in PPP Mode. The rink was leased out in 2018 but due to some PIL in the High Court, it has not been used. In between, it had only been used as a Covid Centre for two years during the pandemic.
In response to a starred question by Pritam Singh Panwar of the BJP, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal informed the House that there are 12,12,519 general ration card holders in the state, while there are 1,82,824 Antyodaya Ration card holders. There were another 9.53 lakh beneficiaries covered under the State Foodgrain Scheme. He said that making of Ration Cards is a continuous process.
Disaster related losses amount to Rs 1344 cr, so far: Aggarwal
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 6 Sep: Several members raised the issue of damage to roads and properties of the state’s residents due to excessive rains this year under Rule 58 (Calling Attention to matters of urgent public importance). Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal informed the House on behalf of the government that so far, this year, 45,650 affected families have been given an amount of Rs 30.40 crores as ex-gratia loss. He added that the survey to assess the losses and damages continues in the state and the survey of Haridwar district is also continuing. He added that it has been estimated that losses to the tune of at least Rs 1,334 crores have been incurred so far. The government has allocated an amount of Rs 301 crores as advance relief from the State Disaster Relief Fund.
Aggarwal further stated that 111 people lost their lives and 172 people were injured due to rains in the state, so far, this year. As per preliminary estimates, there has been a loss of Rs 1,344 crores due to rains in the state so far. He stated that two helicopters were pressed into service for disaster management work during the disaster period. An amount of Rs 33.50 crores has been given so far to 150 families in Joshimath towards their rehabilitation. As many as 296 affected families had been given shelter in relief camps. Additional relief to 324 families at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per family and an additional amount of Rs 50,000 per family has been given for shifting the possessions.