BSY Versus Bureaucracy In Karnataka: Officials Earn The Ire Of Chief Minister For Mishandling Covid-19 Situation
Reports say, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa lashed out at officials for various shortcomings in the on-ground handling of Covid-19 situation in Bengaluru.
As much as one would like to praise the Bengaluru model, which seemed to have taken off quite well, the last few weeks have been a different tale with complaints of private hospitals refusing treatment, unavailability of ambulances, backlog of test results, and many more flaws that the administration has had to answer for.
In less than 10 days after Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan admitted that bureaucratic delays and unwillingness had delayed the creation of effective emergency Covid-19 infrastructure in the state, especially the capital, the Chief Minister now seems to be furious with the officials and their mishandling of affairs.
Narayan, who is now in charge of the Covid-19 care centres in the city, had said the delay in setting up of essential infrastructure was because bureaucrats didn't want the government to spend money on a ‘non-contagious disease’.
Media briefings by different ministers too have seen the government assuring that criminal charges will be filed against hospitals refusing to admit patients but on ground, the reality seems unchanged.
This has left the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who unlike many leaders of state who were operating from their living rooms, has been a hands-on head of state, furious and fuming at the officials.
As reported, Yediyurappa lashed out at officials for various shortcomings in the on-ground handling of affairs including facilities at the Covid-19 care centres (CCC) being set up.
“Should I myself go out and organise ambulances personally?” the CM had reportedly asked on the issue of shortage of ambulances. Media reports have continuously been highlighting the issue of absence of ambulances, even though the state government had assured two ambulances per ward.
Yediyurappa who visited the 10,000-bed CCC that is being set up at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre was in for a rude shock to know that a large number of these cots had been procured on rent. He dismissed this unintelligent move as pointless and a huge bearing on the state finances.
The Chief Minister is said to have questioned the rationale behind renting the cots at a huge cost when the same could have been purchased for much lower price and then turned into a state asset that could be distributed to hostels and hospitals post the pandemic.
As reported, each of the bed at the centre was procured at a rental cost of Rs 800 per day when they could have been purchased for a price that would have been much lower than the total rent for a month.
He had earlier reprimanded the officials for the not yet functional central allocation system.
Currently in home quarantine after one of his staff members tested positive last week, the Chief Minister is said to have warned the officials and asked for these issues be fixed before the next meeting.
Capital city Bengaluru will be under complete lockdown starting today (14 July) for a week given the surge in cases in the recent weeks.
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