GUWAHATI: COVID-19 Free Gaon Panchayat in Assam: Panchayat & Rural Development (P&RD) Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass on Monday informed that as per the regular report on the initiatives undertaken to fight with COVID-19 in the rural areas, presently 304 Gaon Panchayats and Village Councils of the State are COVID free.
Addressing the media here on Monday, Dass underlined, "Out of these, 173 are Gram Panchayats (GPs) and 131 are Village Council Development Committees (VCDCs)/Village Development Committees (VDCs). I am very much hopeful that with active participation and cooperation of everyone we will be able to declare entire rural areas of Assam as COVID free in the near future."
It is to be noted that Assam has a total of 2,197 GPs and 479 VCDCs/VDCs. Out of the total VCDCs/VDCs, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council has 40 VDCs, Dima Hasao Council has 28 VDCs, and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts has 411 VCDCs under the Sixth Scheduled districts.
"To curb the spread of COVID-19 in the rural areas, the GPs and VCDCs/VDCs which are the cutting-edge institutions, have been geared up to fight against COVID-19 in the rural areas. In every GP, a War Room has been set up which is acting as the nodal point to fight against COVID-19 in the GPs/VCDCs/VDCs. Task Force has been constituted in the GP/VCDC/VDC with the participation of the PRI members. Sanitization activities in the rural areas have been undertaken by the GPs/VCDCs/VDCs. Free masks are also distributed to the vulnerable groups, such as Job cardholders, weaker sections of people, widows, marginal farmers etc. of the GPs wherever necessary. Presently it is seen that a Jan Andolan is being created to fight against COVID-19 in rural areas," said Dass.
Further, referring to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's statement regarding the government's plan to provide 1 lakh jobs, the media persons asked Dass about the vacancies in the P&RD Department. Answering the question, Dass said that the Department has 3287 vacant posts at present.
Out of the total posts, while 2,304 are Grade-III posts, 350 are Grade-IV posts, added Dass.