Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday directed officials of border districts of Kokrajhar and Dhubri to screen drivers of trucks entering the state as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The chief minister said this in a review meeting with the district deputy commissioners (DCs) and superintendents of police (SPs) of the state through video-conferencing to take stock of the situation arising out of relaxation of guidelines by the state government on Monday in certain sectors during the extended lockdown period. Sonowal instructed the DCs of Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts to strictly screen all the incoming truck drivers and their associates at Boxirhat and Srirampur gates on the Assam-Bengal border. He also instructed them to create adequate awareness across the villages near the border so that they can report and stop anyone trying to sneak into Assam during the lockdown period. Directing the DCs to ensure that there should not be any irregularity in selecting the beneficiaries for the state government’s scheme of giving Rs 1,000 to those people who do not possess National Food Security Act (NFSA) cards, Sonowal said strict action should be taken against anyone involved in embezzling of public fund meant for the poor people.
He also said that the scheme to provide five kg rice to the beneficiaries falling out of the ambit of the NFSA cards should be implemented properly. Sonowal said that as farming activities have been exempted from lockdown and therefore the DCs must ensure that farmers do not face any difficulties. He also directed the district agriculture officers to monitor the usage of tractors provided under the Chief Minister’s Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) and instructed them to ensure that those tractors are only used for farming activities. Issuing the instruction for maintaining social distancing norms in the tea gardens and tea factories, Sonowal directed the DCs to ask the estate managements to screen outsiders visiting the factories for mechanical works or for supplying spare parts for the machines.
He also asked the districts to look after the difficulties faced by small tea growers and facilitate their movements. The agriculture department was also directed to ensure that farmers produce does not get wasted and bridge the gap between the buyers and growers. The DCs were also directed to interact over the phone with eminent personalities and leading citizens of their districts to seek their feedback and suggestions about the various measures taken by the government during the lockdown.
He also appreciated the role played by DCs along with health, police, power department, public health engineering department (PHED) and other departments in the fight against the COVID-19.