Ahmedabad: Gujarat unit of Congress hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said the compensation declared by the state government for Covid deaths was equivalent to the cattle deaths in recent floods in Saurashtra region of the state.
“In Gujarat more than three lakh people died of Covid. Due to lack of prior preparation by the government, the government hospitals could not provide the necessary treatment and people were forced to approach private hospitals, where they were literally looted,” alleged Amit Chavda, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president while addressing media persons on Friday.
He claimed the state government was hiding the “real” Covid death figures.
“The government in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court stated that it will be giving Rs 50,000 as compensation to the kin of Covid victims. Announcing such a low compensation is a crude joke on the family members of those who perished in the pandemic. Secondly, this compensation is equivalent to the compensation announced (by Gujarat government) for cattle killed in floods. What is the BJP government trying to prove by equating human and animal deaths,” Chavda asked.
He said Congress party has been asking for a Rs 4 lakh compensation for the kin of those who died due to Covid during the last 1.5 years.
A few days ago, Modi government told the Supreme Court that an ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 will be given by the borne by the state governments through their respective State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
Almost the same time, the new Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel hiked financial aid for those affected by floods in Jamnagar, Junagadh and Rajkot, where the compensation for cattle death was hiked from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 per cattle. This assistance will be given for maximum of five dead cattle owned by a family.
Chavda said there is a provision under the Disaster Management Act 2005 to provide Rs 4 lakh compensation and yet the government offers in the court to provide only Rs 50,000 compensation.
“On one hand the government has money to spend on Central Vista Project, bullet train, buy aeroplanes and write-off debts of industrialists. But the government has not money to help families adversely affected by Covid pandemic,” he added.