Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 25:
Under fire from all quarters after a tribal man was seen carrying the corpse of his wife on his shoulders due to his inability to afford conveyance, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today launched the much-delayed Mahaprayan scheme at Bajapur under Mahanga block.
Under the scheme, the government will provide hearse service to beneficiaries for carrying the corpse from hospital to their intended destination.
Even though the scheme had been announced in February this year, the official roll out was pending.
According to an official source, the implementation of the scheme will be monitored by General Administration (GA) and Health and Family Welfare Departments of the State Government.
As many as 40 vehicles will be procured to offer the promised services. While 30 of them will be stationed at district headquarters hospitals, two each will be deployed at three state government run medical college and hospitals, one each at Capital Hospital of Bhubaneswar, IGH Rourkela, Cuttack Sishu Bhavan and Cuttack cancer hospital.
Notably, the government also has a running scheme named ‘Harischandra Sahayata Yojana’ that was launched in August 2013 for providing financial assistance to poor and destitute for conducting the last rites of their family member and for cremation of unclaimed dead bodies.
In the launch ceremony of Mahaprayan scheme, the Chief Minister also dedicated 100 bridges under Biju Setu scheme and announced that three lakh new beneficiaries will be included under Madhu Babu Pension Scheme.
According to a press release issued by the Chief Minister’s office, the 100 new bridges have come up across 23 districts of the state at a cost of Rs 328 crore. Overall, 481 such bridges have been constructed at a cost of Rs 780 crore by 2015-2016.
While 40.22 lakh beneficiaries are already getting pension under Madhu Babu Pension scheme, the work for further inclusion of the added three lakh beneficiaries started today.