Dehradun, Sep 25 (PTI) The Uttarakhand government on Friday detailed the steps it has taken to address the issues being raised by the Congress, saying the opposition party would have got the answers it had been seeking had it not disrupted the one-day monsoon session.
At a press conference, Cabinet Minister Madan Kaushik spoke about the steps taken to mitigate the impact of disasters, price rise, unemployment and problems faced by farmers.
The Congress had agreed to raise these issues in the assembly and the government was ready with its replies but when the House actually assembled on September 23, the opposition MLAs disrupted the proceedings, Kaushik said.
Claiming that the government had shown 'great sensitivity' to all these issues despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Kaushik drew a comparison between the previous Congress government and the present BJP government in their dealings with disaster-hit villages.
While Congress government spent Rs 37.5 lakh between 2013 and 2017 to relocate two villages and 11 families out of 77 villages identified for relocation due to their vulnerability to natural disasters, the BJP government has spent nearly Rs 35 crore on the relocation of 825 families and 28 villages in four years.
The state government had also released Rs 354 crore to the district administration, PWD and the health authorities to deal with Covid and disasters like landslides and cloudbursts, he said.
Contrary to the allegations levelled by the opposition the state government is adequately prepared to deal with any emergency that may arise in view of the pandemic, Kaushik said.
'We have 31,000 isolation beds, 2,759 oxygen support beds, 636 ICU beds, 605 ventilators. We have appointed 598 doctors including regular and contractual during the crisis in addition to the 1,400 present from before,' he said.
There are 10 dedicated Covid hospitals, 15 Covid health centres, 411 Covid care centres and 12 private hospitals treating Covid patients in the state which is enough for months,' Kaushik said accusing Congress of drawing a bleak picture to mislead people.
On price rise, he said the situation in Uttarakhand is much better than many states including Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
'Petrol and diesel are still cheaper here than all these states. We have also been making efforts not to let the prices of essential commodities rise during the Covid crisis.
On unemployment, Kaushik said between 2012 to 2020 over seven lakh people had been given employment whereas a Mukhya Mantri Swarojgar Yojana has been launched to give jobs to lakhs of migrants who returned to Uttarakhand following the outbreak of the pandemic.
Over 4 lakh people have been given interest free loans to set up businesses of their own, he said.
Kaushik said the opposition never co-operated with the government to strengthen its fight against Corona.
'When we were bringing home migrants they were out on the streets agitating against us,' he said. On the farm sector reform bills he said the farmers should resist being taken in by the Congress which is trying to mislead them by spreading lies about the legislations. He said the Congress which is opposing them now had itself said in its poll manifesto in 2019 that it will repeal the APMC Act (Agriculture Product Market Committee). He said MSPs and Mandis will remain while the farmer will have the choice of withdrawing from a contract with companies whenever he feels like it.
Claiming that the Centre stands with farmers, Kaushik said Rs 92000 crore have been given to farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana. PTI ALM ABH ABH