Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], April 19 (ANI): In a historic move, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said that 'sarpanches' in Gram Panchayats will get the powers of District Collectors in their respective jurisdiction to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
"The 14-day quarantine is very important to protect the returnees and their families. To implement this effectively, the State government delegates powers of District Collectors to sarpanches of Gram Panchayats for their jurisdiction under Section 51 of Disaster Management Act, 2005, Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 read with Odisha COVID-19 Regulations, 2020," said Chief Minister Patnaik.
The people from Odisha stranded in other States and wanting to return will be brought to the State after the lockdown period is over. They will have to mandatorily register their names with the help of their families and friends at their respective panchayats. They will have to follow mandatory quarantine period of 14 days on their return.
"When the restriction is lifted, Odisha in coordination with States and Central governement will facilitate the return of the people who want to come back home. We have a scientific system to facilitate this. However, the magnitude of the problem demands a decentralised approach," added Patnaik.
The State government will bear all the expenses of the quarantine period. After the completion of the quarantine period, the government will provide them with Rs 2,000 as an incentive.
With this, Odisha has become the first State in the country to make a proactive scientific road map for the return of stranded workers.
According to a press release issued by the State government, every Gram Panchayat will have a registration facility and community-based monitoring will be conducted by empowering Gram Panchayats.
Chief Minister Patnaik has informed the State has reported 61 positive COVID-19 cases so far. (ANI)