Ballari admn. asked to submit proposal for using ₹30 crore DMF funds for COVID-19 work

By Staff Reporter
Minister for Tourism, Ecology and Environment B.S. Anand Singh speaking at a meeting in Ballari on Thursday. (Source: SRIDHAR KAVALI)

Minister for Tourism, Ecology and Environment and Ballari in-charge B.S. Anand Singh has directed the Ballari district administration to submit a proposal for using ₹30 crore from the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds for taking up COVID-19 management activities in Ballari and Vijayanagara districts.

Chairing a meeting at the district administrative complex in Ballari on Thursday, Mr. Singh said that ₹320 crore has been reserved and it can be utilised for emergency purposes.

Deputy Commissioner Pavan Kumar Malapati, in his briefing, said that the administration has taken up several tasks as per government guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19, with the thinking that it can utilise ₹31.30 crore under District Mineral Foundation funds.

“A sum of ₹31.30 crore was reserved for COVID-19 containment activities which included the purchase of medical essentials such as ventilators, generators, essential drugs and also, streamlining oxygen supply. We have also outsourced medical, technical and non-technical staff. A sum of ₹4.19 crore from DMF funds is used for these activities,” he said.

“The expenditure incurred for activities is more than the reserved amount and we need to get approval for the additional amount. The staff appointed are to be continued and we need around ₹2.30 crore every month to pay them salaries. For the next nine months, we need around ₹20 crore for continuing COVID-19 containment activities. For handling a possible third wave of the pandemic, we need ₹5 crores additionally,” Mr. Malapati told the meeting.

In his response, Mr. Singh directed Mr. Malapati to submit a proposal for using ₹30 crore from the DMF funds for COVID-19-related tasks. He said that he will discuss the issue with the Chief Secretary to the government and see that the proposal is approved.

As per information shared at the meeting, six action plans for taking up 2,351 works at a cost of ₹2,677 crore were approved between 2016-17 and 2021-22. Of the 2,351 works, 605 have been completed, 604 are in progress, administrative approvals have been given to 243 works and tender process is under way for 123. A sum of ₹528.96 core were released for the works completed.

Mr. Malapati told the meeting that in nine cases contractors, who failed to complete the works within the stipulated time, were fined.

Legislators K.C. Kondaiah, Allam Veerabhadrappa, G. Somashekhar Reddy, Nagendra, Ganesh and Somalingappa were present.

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