The BJP led government in Arunachal Pradesh, headed by the dynamic and technology savvy Chief Minister Pema Khandu has been able to win the trust and hearts of the people of the hilly state again. This time it was with his meticulously planned and fault less execution of initiatives during the COVID-19 crisis. Amarjyoti Borah writes
Due to pro-active measures initiated by Chief Minister Khandu, the state of Arunachal Pradesh- which has a much difficult terrain managed to survive the pandemic and had just one Covid-19 positive case, which was also cured.
Though initially there was a fear that the state could be hit by the pandemic due to the presence of thousands of migrant workers, the ideal execution of work by the home department and health department of the state ensured that the state was not hit by the crisis.
According to officials from the Chief Minister Office, Arunachal Pradesh, chief minister Khandu got into action much earlier in comparison to other states, he had all the important information on his finger tips and just sprang into action as soon as it became clear that such a crisis is looming over the state.
Lauding the initiative undertaken by the CM, an official of the state government said that the chief minister devoted full energy and effort towards ensuring that the state is not hit by the Corona outbreak.
Khandu also ensured usage of digital means to help all the people of Arunachal Pradesh who are stuck in other states, and ensured maximum usage of social media platforms –Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to reach out and ensure support to those who are stranded outside the state.
“Once the Lock down was extended- It was immediately decided to ensure availability of money to the people of the state who are stuck outside. Soon an online form was introduced to facilitate the stranded people from Arunachal in different parts of the country amidst the first phase of 21-day national lockdown was prepared,” said an official of the government of Arunachal Pradesh, who works closely with the office of the chief minister.
“There was a meeting and it was immediately decided to announce Rs 3,500 for every individual from the state who are stuck outside, and it was immediately released to the account holders,” said the official.
Another important initiative by the chief minister, keeping in pace with the digital world, was the launch of a Mobile App.
The Arunachal Pradesh government launched a mobile app called ‘COVID CARE’ to provide real-time, round-the-clock care for people under COVID-19 quarantine- This app has been developed for those people who are quarantined, asymptomatic or COVID-19 patients to self-report their health status, including body temperature and vital symptoms and in case of emergency, the patient will be able to call for help through the app itself. Thus making it convenient for the use of both the state’s healthcare workers and its people. It is designed to serve as a powerful weapon in the state’s war against coronavirus. “This step was taken keeping in mind the digital space penetration and the usage of the digital space today by everyone. The app is available on Google Play Store for download. The easy-to-use mobile app is currently available for Android users and will shortly be launched for Apple smart phones as well,” said an official of the health department, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Another important step by the state government was to ensure that the Covid-19 is kept in check by the initiation of a Covid 19 Control room in the state secretariat building to help and support the state’s people stranded across the country amid the nationwide lockdown.
The control room was set up for better coordination between the states in helping migrant labourers and students stranded due to the ongoing lockdown.
According to officials, the Control Room was set up basically to explore the feasibility of extensive use of digital technology in legislative and financial work, and in routine tasks such as meetings and file movements, so as to make sure that physical distancing norms are followed stringently.
According to sources, the state government is also exploring ways to develop a plan for the revival of the state’s economy-which, along with other states, has been severely affected due to the Lock Down.
“The chief minister has directed officials of few relevant departments to prepare a roadmap for the revival of the state’s economy and also for job creation, and after the Covid 19 crisis end, he will meet the Finance Minister and top officials of the government for a possible support package,” said a senior government official associated with the finance department.