Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today held a video conference meeting to discuss COVID prevention measures with representatives of Jammu & Kashmir Municipal bodies.
In his opening remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh said that in the earlier two phases of COVID pandemic, the main consideration was to arrange for the essential supplies for people held up in different parts of the country and in the later phase, the main responsibility was to ensure free movement of the people returning home from different parts of the country. However, in the current phase, the focus is on two issues, namely prevention and awareness, and for fulfilling these two objectives, the role of the local bodies and their representatives as well as civil society will gain an unusual importance.
During the two-hour meeting, those who presented their views included Mayor Jammu Municipal Corporation Chandra Mohan Gupta, Deputy Mayor Jammu Municipal Corporation Purnima Sharma, Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation Junaid Azim Mattoo and Deputy Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation ParvejQuadri. In addition, Chairmen of the Municipal bodies of Billawar, Basholi, Hiranagar, Bhaderwah, Doda, Vijaypur, Kupwara, Baramulla, Anantnag, Chenani, Ramgarh, Parole, Batote and others also participated in the interaction.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the need of the hour is to follow the Mantra of “awareness not anxiety”. For this, the elected representatives of Municipal bodies, who are the grassroots leaders can play a convincing role by making the people understand the importance of exercising precautions without panic.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, what we need to make people understand is that even though the number of Corona positive cases is high, this is to a great extent because of mass screening and more number of samples being send. Otherwise, the percentage prevalence and death rate have remained almost same over the last ten weeks, he said.
In the current phase of COVID pandemic, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Municipal activities like fumigation, maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene, social distancing, etc will be of significant importance and added that the district administration has been directed to keep the Municipal bodies on board in planning and execution.
The heads of the Municipal bodies appreciated the regular contact with them maintained by Dr Jitendra Singh and his office on day-to-day basis. They brought to the notice of the Minister that the release of funds to the local bodies had got delayed.
Dr Jitendra Singh appreciated the role played by the Municipal bodies and civil society during the Corona crisis and assured them that he is personally following up for closer coordination amongst all.