The Congress brigade headed by member of Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu took officials of all government departments head on while questioning them on various delays/discrepancies in the ongoing projects during the district-level vigilance and monitoring committee (DLVMC) meeting, convened on Monday.
Deputy commissioner Rajat Agarwal in addition to acting as a buffer between the department representatives and legislators from the Congress also confronted them on “irrelevant questions”.
As Congress MLA Surinder Dawar said Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital was in complete mess, the DC politely intervened and said, “Mein tuhade naal sehmat nahi, kyunki hospital wich achcha kam wi ho reha hai. (I do not agree, as staff is doing good work at hospital).”
Expressing disappointment over late information of the meeting, some members could not make it to the meeting but had sent their complaints to Bittu. Raikot MLA Gurcharan Singh Boparai was also among the complainants and was of the view that the agenda of the DLVMC should be given at least a week in advance whereas the information reached the members on Saturday.
Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu questioned the officials about provisions of drinking water in villages and enquired about the “level” of safe drinking water till he got a satisfactory reply.
Another member of the committee Raman Subramaniyam pointed towards the menace of manual scavenging to which the DC replied that the administration had identified 12 families and was providing them all facilities for a better life.
This was the first DLVMC meeting of Bittu who said the district administration should make earnest efforts to utilise the funds in various beneficiary schemes of the Centre, adding that he would play a proactive role at every level.
However, a health official was caught on the wrong foot when asked about instructions to the “108 ambulance” if they were authorised to take patients to private hospitals. The official was unable to reply, as a result, the DC asked civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta to step in who said, “108 ambulance can only transport patients to government hospitals but in case of acute emergency, the ambulance staff is authorised to take the patient to private hospitals.”
The committee member had asked the question in wake of recent controversy over the “malpractice” wherein the ambulances were alleged of taking commissions in lieu of transporting patients to private hospitals.
Similarly, the non-implementation of the Right to Education Act also led to a heated debate in the meeting to which the DC said he would provide the copy of the Act to all members to carry forward the deliberations.
Other issues discussed in the meeting varied from missing toilets in anganwadi centres, programmes under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, family planning programmes to national rural health mission.