HP Assembly winter session: Question hour snippets
Shimla, Dec 23
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu stated in the house that Rs 4.30 Crore were spent on the repair and maintenance of minister residencies; however, the amount could not be termed as spendthrift as the money was spent on the request of members. He said that the state got requests from various MLAs too, and the Government spent money from the designated funds which could not be diverted or used in other heads. Replying to a query by Randhir Sharma of the Nainadevi of BJP, the Chief Minister responded that members should understand that the previous BJP government and the present government used the funds for the repair work. Earlier, raising the issue in the question hour, Mr. Sharma said that despite the economic crisis, money is spent on building the bungalows of the ministers.
Pension Payment Delays
Congress MLA Rajinder Rana raised concerns about the non-payment of amended pension to employees of Corporation, Municipal Council, Nagar, and Gram Panchayat. The Chief Minister attributed the delay to the economic challenges caused by the previous BJP government and assured that pending payments would be released soon.
Employment Challenges for Ex-Servicemen
In response to a query by Sanjay Rattan of Congress (Jawalmukhi), Chief Minister Sukhu discussed the challenges faced in filling backlog posts for ex-servicemen wards. He acknowledged the diversion of Ex-Serviceman posts to SC/ST and general categories due to few qualified candidates.
Ayurvedic Dispensary Shortage
Ayush Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan responded to a query by Inderdutt Lakhanpal of Congress, acknowledging that 21 Ayurvedic dispensaries are non-functional due to staff shortages. Plans were outlined to address the issue by seeking additional funding for new staff positions.
Healthcare Infrastructure Challenges
Health Minister Dr. D R Shandil said in reply to a query raised by Deep Raj (Karsog) that parking facility and a shortage of staff in Kamala Nehru Hospital Shimla would be resolved soon. He said that currently, there is a shortage of four doctors in the KNH Shimla, including one Professor and four Senior resident doctors. He said that the state government had provided Rs 43.16 lakh last year to KNH, and the funds are being used in a phased manner to modernize the mother and childcare center. He said that in two to three months, the water system of the Hospital is being restored. Replying to a query of Deep Raj that pregnant mothers are being treated on the sixth floor of the building facing difficulty in climbing and coming down on foot due to the frequent failure of KNH lift, which should be repaired. The Minister said that he would assure the members that with the modernization of the hospital, all the problems including the lift and parking would be resolved soon. Replying to another supplementary on the issue raised by Dr. Janak Raj (Bharmour), he said that the State government would allot more space in the IGMC hospital to the mothers of babies who have to shift to the hospital from KNH during the referral of the neonatal babies to IGMC. The Minister said that currently, 34 sanitation workers are deployed in the KNH, AND 14 new posts of staff, including Nurses and three Lab Technicians, are being created. Dr. Janak Raj, who remained the Senior Superintendent of IGMC, said that IGMC should have provisions for 10 extra beds along with neonatal or pediatrics wards. He said that mothers of the babies are being kept at KNH and babies at IGMC.
Water Scheme Funding Challenges
Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri responded to concerns raised by Jeet Ram Katwal about the Rukamani Kund water scheme in Jhandutta assembly. Funding challenges were explained, and efforts to secure additional funds for the project were discussed.
Red Cross Society Nomination Delay
In response to a query by Chandershekhar, the MLA of Dharampur (Congress), the Chief Minister assured the house that the nomination of the new Red Cross society would be announced soon. Concerns about the non-functionality of the society since the previous Congress government were addressed.
Unspent Funds in Various Schemes
Replying to a query raised by the Hoshiyar Singh MLA Dehra (Independent), the chief minister said that money allotted under the MLALAD, SDRF, SDP, MPLAD, and MMGSY remained unspent; therefore, four out of 1261 schemes works of 816 could not be completed. Sukhu said that during most of MLALAD Scheme developmental works are being delayed due to court cases and objections of people to not provide the lands for such schemes. He said that on various occasions, it was found that people get a stay from the court, and the matter remained pending or delayed for six months to one year and sometimes more than one and a half years. The Chief Minister advised the members that they should divert the funds to other works to expedite the utilization of money under the above scheme. He said that members should consult the concerned BDOs to ensure the time-bound completion of such schemes. The Chief Minister cautioned the MLAs that they should also know that funds remained unspent on the political consideration, and they should intervene to resolve it with the consolation of officers, as the officials could work on such schemes due to the passiveness of the political consideration of the concerned Panchayat Pradhan.
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