Bengaluru: Cautioning about the third wave of COVID-19, Karnataka Governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot on Wednesday, called on the citizens to handle the situation with “total seriousness” and said there should be no room for negligence.
Delivering his address after unfurling the national flag on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day here, he complimented the state government for succeeding in reducing the effect of COVID-19 efficiently.
“We are now facing the 3rd wave of COVID-19. We should handle this situation with total seriousness and negligence has no room now. We must continue to observe the SMS mantra of – Social Distancing, Masking and Sanitization for the sake of everybody’s health,” the Governor said.
“My Government has worked day and night and with the support of the public we have succeeded in reducing the effect of COVID-19 efficiently. We have used this crisis as an opportunity to build on our strengths, to create additional health infrastructure and enhance production capacity of Oxygen cylinders and Ventilators,” he said.
This is Gehlot’s first Republic Day as the Governor of Karnataka.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, few of his cabinet colleagues and top government officials were among the select invitees, who attended the low-key event held at the Manekshaw Parade Ground here, by following the COVID protocols.
The Governor said different fields like management of Covid war room, Telemedicine, identifying the infected and quarantine observation were managed efficiently with advanced technology and this has resulted in less number of deaths in Karnataka when compared to other parts of the world.
“I also salute our field staff, Disaster Management Teams and the District Heads who effectively handled the challenge and mitigated the disaster of heavy rain in the North Karnataka region,” he said.
Noting that Karnataka, being one of the progressive States in the Country, is implementing many schemes and programmes on the occasion of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (75th Anniversary of Independence), Gehlot said, the State has announced 14 Amrit Mahotsav programmes and has prepared an implementation roadmap with targeted outcomes till August 15, 2023.
He also highlighted the government’s focus on Watershed development, mobile and technology based crop survey, among others.
The Governor said an amount of Rs 14.23 crore from the Union Government and 13.39 crore from state government has been released under the modernization scheme for procuring weapons, vehicles and scientific equipment etc. to various units of police departments.
He said Rs 9.14 crore from the union government and 6.09 crore from the state government has been released for procurement of wireless equipment and added that Rs 30 lakh compensation has been paid to 173 families of Police personnel who died due to Covid-19.
Gehlot also noted that the Forest department has planted 2.39 crore saplings of different varieties in 37,745 hectares and 1.87 crore saplings were distributed to public to grow in agricultural and private lands.
Incentive of Rs 4.39 crore has been distributed to the farmers under Agriculture Forest Encouragement scheme.
Further, by taking action for comprehensive protection and conservation of the dwelling places of wildlife the State has 524 Tigers in its forest area and has been identified as the second State having the highest number of Tigers.
As per the census of 2017 there are 6,049 Elephants in Karnataka. This covers 25 percent of the Elephants in India, and the state stands first by having highest number of Elephants, he said.
The Governor also said that the classes for post-matric girl students, training them in self defense skills like Karate, Judo and Taekwondo have been started in backward class hostels.
“My Government prioritises women centric budgets and provides nutrition based food to pregnant ladies and nursing mothers, under Matru poorna scheme. This has been implemented in all districts of the State and 9.36 lakh beneficiaries have availed this facility,” he added.