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Modi And Yogi's Government Have Let Down The People...Unpardonable & Unacceptable
By Aradhana Misra 'Mona'
Lucknow || India and Uttar Pradesh have been going through one of the darkest hours in the history of the nation. And while the Coronavirus pandemic has brought humanity together as it faces the scourge of this deadly virus, it has exposed the fragility of the system, specially healthcare, while also bringing to the fore the inexperience, arrogance, difference, denial ion both the Modi and Yogi governments.
People died in the arms of their loved ones, on public vehicles, on roadsides, on the gates of the very hospitals they thought would save them. And as all this happened, the two governments continued to be in denial, whipped the system to under-report and continued to tom-tom about the efficiency and self-patted themselves.
And people who flagged the crisis - shortage of life-saving medical oxygen, hospital beds, lack of transport, black-marketing of drugs, non-availability of saviour injections, the government threatened to clamp down on them and warned them of draconian actions like seizure of their property, slapping of NSA and throwing them behind prison.
The union government has wasted one full year to develop onsite oxygen capacity. It should have invested in early import of surplus oxygen, installing more PSA’s , incentivising industry to purchase more cryogenic tankers, helping hospitals to have more oxygen storage tanks and equipping railways to transport oxygen.
Thanks to the Supreme Court that these arrogant powers that be did not succeed in their plot and the apex court warned them against any coercive action, lest them wanted to invite contempt of court proceedings on them. So lets dissect why this huge show of arrogance, alls-well! Its a sad but historical fact by now that the Uttar Pradesh government was ill-prepared for the onslaught of the second wave of COVID.
The state government and its "Team-11" lost a precious full one year in false claims, hyperbole and in an advertisement blitzkrieg to show that they had worked 24x7 to ensure that the state and its people were protected from the virus. However, when the second wave hit us in April, the political leadership was busy with the do-or-die West Bengal elections and their all energies and time was focussed on "Do Mayi, Didi Gayi".
Similar situation prevails about the ventilators. On 9th April, 2020 GoI announced it will procure 50,000 ventilators under the Make in India Scheme. 4 companies – BHEL, AgVa, Allied Health and AMZ – were asked to manufacture domestically. 1 year later, GoI only procured 35,000 ventilators. Over 15,000 ventilators are lying idle in their warehouses. Sad situation it is!
Stockists and traders have been hoarding large quantities of Remdesivir and selling them at exorbitant prices. A lot of stock which was earmarked for export has got diverted to the black market and the government seems to have failed to control the hoarding and black-marketing.
People across the state of Uttar Pradesh are unable to get admissions in hospitals. In last 10 years UP has added only 8000 new government hospital beds. Situation is grim in many places with the number of cases far exceeding the number of beds available. Testing in UP and other parts of the country remains abysmal.
Dead bodies continue to pile up in the state meanwhile, the land of Avadh saw an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with bodies of COVID patients being burns out in open, the dead waiting for their turn and also dignity, but there was none as the powers that be were busy electioneering. And by the time they realised that they were faced with a mammoth challenge, the entire top leadership- the chief minister, a deputy chief minister, several lawmakers and bureaucrats, decision makers - all had been infected themselves.
The system came crashing and the government was left rudderless, people even more hopeless. All this saddens me further because our party, the Indian National Congress (INC) had been raising several issues of importance, which came true at various time spans, but the government, as has been its record, refused to pay heed and in the end people are paying the price. It is a personal tragedy for hundreds and thousands and a statewide calamity that has scarred India's most populous state for all times to come.
I accuse the government of squarely failing to come to their rescue at the time they need it the most. What is ever more heart-breaking is the fact that even the ruling party lawmakers jus vanished in this time of crisis, deserting their own supporters, cadres and voters. Congress, in whatever might it has to its disposal, fanned out in cities and small towns, wheeling in oxygen cylinders and reaching out to people in distress!
The government is still non-functional and whatever is being done is too little, too late!
(The writer is a former journalist, a two-term lawmaker and the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the UP Assembly)