Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Dhenkanal/Cuttack, Aug 28:
Provision of hearse under the ‘Mahaprayan scheme’ flagged off by the Odisha Chief Minister on Thursday to transport bodies of persons dying at government hospitals to their homes will not be a freebie but a ‘pay and use service’ at ‘no profit no loss’.
The guidelines of the ‘Mahaprayan scheme’ clearly says that beneficiaries irrespective of to which category they belong to can avail the service on ‘pay and use’ basis.
The guidelines further states the service would be operated on ‘no profit no loss’ basis.
Moreover, District Collectors have been directed in the guidelines to fix per kilometer charges taking into consideration mileage of the vehicle, maintenance, tax, and insurance.
“The Mahaprayan Rath will operate on ‘no profit no loss’ basis. For ten kilometers or within the town limit the charges have been fixed at Rs 200. Distance beyond this will be charged at Rs 8 per km. The beneficiary will be required to deposit the amount in advance, and then the vehicle will carry the dead to their home,” said Dr. Sujata Rani Mishra, ADMO Dhenkanal district headquarters hospital.
“It will be affordable. The cost will be nominal. The charges have not been finalized. It will be finalized at the District Collector level,” said Dr. Prafulla Kumar Behera, CDMO Cuttack.
Opposition parties have slammed the Chief Minister on this account.
“How can there be a proper execution of welfare schemes when they are failing to coordinate with the District Collectors. Their interest is in making announcements and not implementation. Since they are only after making announcements and not implementation and for that reason such unfortunate things are happening,” said Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister.
“People have to pay for the vehicle. They are citing ‘no profit no loss’. Only if the beneficiary has the money he can afford it otherwise he will again carry the body of his dead relative on his shoulders,” said Narasingha Mishra Leader of the Opposition in the Odisha Assembly and senior Congress leader in his reactions on Mahaprayan scheme turning out to be a ‘pay and use’ scheme.
The BJD has, however, defended the government’s decision of ‘pay and use’.
“The District Collectors have been directed to fix per kilometer charge which should be ‘no profit no loss’ basis. We don’t agree with the Union Minister Pradhan’s comment. I would like to ask him they are in power at the Centre for the last two years how many schemes in the social sector have they floated in these years while they have passed three budgets?” queried Pratap Keshari Deb BJD spokesperson.