Haryana Deputy CM reviews availability, pricing of essential commodities; warns hoarders of strict action

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Chandigarh, Apr 25 (PTI) Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Sunday reviewed the availability and pricing of essential commodities, including medical oxygen, which has seen demand surge in the wake of rising number of COVID-19 cases and warned hoarders of strict action.

Chautala said he has written a letter to Union Minister of Railways, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal, requesting the Centre that medical oxygen, anti-virals like Remdesivir, injectable anti-coagulants should be included in the list of essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act for at least six months so that the production, availability and distribution of these life-saving items at reasonable prices can be publicly monitored.

Warning hoarders who are hoarding essential commodities, he said strict action will be taken against such violators.

The JJP leader said he has instructed officials of the Food and Supplies Department to frequently monitor availability and supply of essential commodities.

The Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the portfolio of the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs, held a review meeting of the departmental officers and gave necessary instructions, a state government release said.

Chautala reviewed the availability and pricing of essential commodities like medical oxygen, antiviral drugs including Remdesivir, injectable anticoagulants, etc.

He said the state government is keeping strict vigil to ensure availability and supply of essential commodities.

During the meeting, Chautala, according to the release, said that after observing 22 essential commodities, it was found that the prices of pulses have increased by about 3 per cent and oil by about 4 to 4.5 percent in the past few days. Prices of other commodities have also increased in some districts, he said.

In this regard, the Deputy Chief Minister has issued directions to all the District Food and Supplies Controllers to ensure the availability and supply of all the 22 essential items daily by establishing contact with the wholesalers of their respective districts in the state.

The supply of essential commodities from neighbouring states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, etc. should be ensured and closely monitored on a daily basis, he directed the officials.

Meanwhile, in another meeting of the State Level Crisis Coordination Committee here on Sunday, Haryana Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan has asked the officials concerned to frequently monitor the availability of ICU and beds with oxygen in government and non-government hospitals of their districts concerned so that patients do not face any inconvenience during their treatment.

The Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of all the districts participated in the meeting through video conferencing, a separate official statement said.

In the wake of a sharp rise in COVID cases, all the Deputy Commissioners have been instructed to take decisions as per local needs regarding imposing Section 144 CrPC, fixing the minimum number of employees in the government offices in the districts, and ensuring that there is no crowd gathering anywhere.

Vardhan said maximum number of employees of those offices should adopt 'work from home' where it can be implemented.

In addition to this, he directed for maximum number of employees in private offices to work from home especially in the districts like Gurugram, Faridabad and Sonipat, in the wake of increasing coronavirus cases.

In this hour of the pandemic crisis, Vardhan said the officers should work with complete coordination and create containment zones with immediate effect in the areas where cases are rapidly increasing.

He wanted all possible steps should be taken to curb the spread of coronavirus. A committee in every district should be constituted headed by high level officers to ensure proper allocation of oxygen supply in each district.

This committee should ensure supply of oxygen to all government and non-government hospitals in the district according to the requirement, he told the officials.

He said that all Deputy Commissioners should visit the hospitals, containment zones and labs from time to time to map the situation on the ground and also suggested that they be available for addressing the local residents' issues.

Additional Chief Secretary of Medical Education and Research Department, Alok Nigam informed that the number of beds is being increased in various hospitals of the state soon.

Under this, work is being done to add 1,000 oxygen beds in PGIMS hospital in Rohtak and 1,250 oxygen-rich beds in other medical college hospitals, while 200 beds in Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hospital, Faridabad are also being arranged so that patients do not face any kind of problem. PTI SUN VSD HDA