Gangtok, May 11 (IPR): The Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri. Prem Singh Tamang chaired a coordination meeting with the ADCs (Development) and BDOs of the State at Samman Bhawan, today.

The meeting was held in order to understand the grievances and problems faced by the public at blocks and districts due to the pandemic and to take feedback and provide necessary suggestions to the ADCs and BDOs.

Present along with the Hon’ble Chief Minister was the Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development Department Shri. Sonam Lama, Hon’ble Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Shri. B.S.Pant, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Shri. Jacob Khaling, Principal Secretary Rural Development Department, Shri. C.S. Rao, Secretary CMO Smt Tenzeen Kizom, and the officers of CMO.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister in his address expressed his happiness that he could have a direct dialogue with the ADCs and BDOs. He stated that it is of utmost importance that ADCs and BDOs update and inform him about their predicaments at their blocks and districts. He said that they are the medium through which the grassroots level and the rural public can communicate directly with the government. He directed them to work diligently and efficiently, especially in generating awareness, not only regarding COVID-19 but also on information disseminated by the government via notification and orders. He also asked them to ensure that the rural public is made aware of their rights and privileges. He said that all Sikkimese must unite to combat the pandemic as well as other social challenges.

He asked the officers present to work towards implementing ‘Government on Doorstep’ quickly and efficiently at their respective blocks and headquarters. This will help in providing government services to the public right at their doorsteps. With technology advancing and connectivity improving, he said that all paper/form details could be filled online and the officer-in-charge will instruct his/her staff to deliver the documents applied for to the houses of the people. Entrusting the ADCs and BDOs with the task of providing COVID-19 medical kit (containing medication prescribed for COVID-19 with dosage and instructions written in both English and Nepali) to asymptomatic patients under home isolation as well as providing ration to the BPL, he asked them to carry out these duties responsibly. He stated that through such service and system, the government would be strengthened overall.

He instructed the officers to make sure that COVID-19 protocols and SOPs are being adhered to strictly, especially during weddings. He also suggested that teachers could offer their services in spreading awareness among the rural population and in combating the disease. He asked the officers to coordinate with the Education Department and increase their workforce with the help of these teachers who are equipped to command and also motivate and create confidence in people. He also stated that Chief Minister’s Task Force would be established at every Gram Panchayat along with a data operator, who would keep constant communication with the Chief Minister’s Office directly.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister also read out the progress report of Sikkim Garib Awaas Yojana so far, which was launched last year. He asked the officers in charge to complete the assigned and remaining projects by 2022.

Addressing the problems of those in the rural areas, he informed that the BDO office will soon have an assistant from the Social Justice Department who will assist and work towards efficient implementation of the Old Age Pension Scheme. He advised them to work in tandem with their respective MLAs so that the State Government benefits reach the needy on time.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister announced to provide 7 lakhs to ADC and 5 lakhs to BDOs as discretionary funds, which can be utilized during emergencies. He also announced an instant budget of Rs. 50,000 each to all the ADCs and BDOs. He also announced that from May 16th, the vaccination drive for 18 years and above will start in the State.

The Hon’ble Minister for RDD in his address said that the policies and schemes are the collective decisions of the Government and that, they are designed to bring about maximum benefit to the public. He stated that this meeting was of utmost significance as the Hon’ble Chief Minister could talk directly to the heads of the rural areas and districts. He also spoke about rural development as well as development in the health and education sector under the leadership of the Hon’ble Chief Minister.

Principal Secretary RDD in his welcome address briefed the gathering on the health status and vaccination drives being carried out by Panchayats and rural development functionaries in coordination with health officials at various blocks and GPUs. He also informed that Panchayats have been provided with online training to manage and handle the covid crisis.

An open discussion also held during the meeting, wherein grievances and suggestions were put forth to tackle COVID-19.

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