Agartala, May 27: The Tripura government on Thursday announced a Rs 579-crore relief package, including job creation under MGNREGA and financial assistance, to ease the burden on the poor who are facing hard times during the pandemic.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said this during a visit to Khumulwng, the headquarters of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), about 20 km from here. Since people are facing hardships due to the COVID-19 situation, the government has decided to generate jobs worth Rs.332 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act (MGNREGA) in the state.
A one-time assistance of Rs.1,000 and ration items would also be provided to seven lakh needy families, the Chief Minister said. While the financial assistance which will be sent through Direct Bank Transfer (DBT) will cost Rs. 70 crore, an additional Rs 80 crore will be required for providing ration to the poor, he said. The state government would also provide a social pension of two months in advance to over four lakh beneficiaries, including senior citizens and widows, and Rs 24 crore has been sanctioned for the poor under Tripura Urban Employment Programme (TUEP) in urban areas.
The Chief Minister said that the tribal council had demanded Rs. 28 crore for upgrading the Kherengbar Community Health Centre (CHC) in Khumulwng to a hospital. But considering all aspects, the state government has sanctioned Rs. 30 crore from the state budget to ensure healthcare for the tribals, he said. He also announced a plan to upgrade the CHC to a 150- bed hospital. Deb was in Khumulwng to lay the foundation for the installation of a 150 LPM oxygen generation plant.
The Chief Minister, during his visit to Khumulwng, also held a meeting with the newly elected representatives of the TTAADC. Highlighting that Tripura was holding the top position in the country in terms of vaccination, he said as many as 16, 27,000 people had been inoculated in the state. Later, Deb shared a post on his official Facebook handle stating, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already approved installation of eight oxygen plants covering all eight districts". The state government has sent a proposal for another 18 oxygen plants because oxygen is important in the battle against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, given the surge in coronavirus cases in the state, the Tripura government has decided to suspend local train services from May 27 till June 6. However, long-distance trains will continue, as usual, a Railway official said. North Eastern Frontier Railway chief public relations officer Subhanand Chanda said that Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) and local passenger train services have been suspended for the time being due to the ban on inter-district travel by the state government.
"Corona curfew has been imposed all over Tripura to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The order will be effective from Thursday in all parts of the state, though the order has already come into force from Wednesday in Agartala Municipal Areas (AMC) and other urban local bodies," Chanda said. At present, three pairs of DEMU and two pairs of passenger trains are serving passengers in Tripura. Besides, Agartala-Sealdah, Agartala-Deoghar, Agartala- Habibganj and Agartala-Anand Vihar trains are operating in both directions.