The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has expressed concern over the slow pace of ongoing vaccination drive in the country and observed that at this rate it will take many years to vaccinate the entire population. In its report on the Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Home Affairs tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the panel also expressed concern that a large number of people are missing the second dose of the vaccine.
"The committee takes note of the ongoing vaccination process for COVID-19 and observes that, till now, less than 1 per cent of the Indian population has been vaccinated and at this rate, it will take many years to vaccinate the whole population," the report said. The panel, headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma, said it felt that it is very serious issue that a large number of people are missing the second dose of the vaccine as the virus is mutating and new variants of COVID-19 are being reported in different parts of the world.
"The committee, therefore, recommends that all frontline health workers and the Corona warriors including CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces) and state and UT police personnel receive the recommended doses of vaccine. An attempt should be made to cover maximum people as early as possible," the report said. On other issues, the committee also noted that the Ministry of Home Affairs had instructed all the state governments to mandatorily disburse relief through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) into the account of the beneficiary.
"The committee would like to know as to how many states are sending the relief through DBT and observes that matter should be pursued with the states that have not come on board for the purpose. The MHA should assist those states, if any, who are facing bottlenecks in shifting or adhering to DBT," the report said. Referring to the recent severe glacial outburst at Chamoli in Uttarakhand, the committee strongly recommended that for ensuring the safety of the people of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, a network of meteorological and hydrological stations, monitoring stations and weather stations be set up at the earliest.
The panel noted that Monitoring of Glacial Lake Outbursts Flows (GLOFs) requires a network of meteorological and hydrological stations, early warning system comprising remote Automatic Water Level Recorder (AWLR) or Monitoring Stations and Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) with the ability to communicate and transmit data from remote stations to the control room etc., for operation and monitoring in real-time data on air temperature, precipitation and river discharge through telemetry (V-SAT).