No need to panic but vital to observe precautions: Dehradun DM
Aiming to make Dehradun one of the most liveable cities in the country: Srivastava
Though the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Dehradun has seen a rise in recent days, the public need not panic as the government has made proper and adequate arrangements to treat the patients. However, it is vital to observe all precautions. Apart from this, efforts are being made under the smart city project to make Dehradun one of the most liveable cities in the country. The Dehradun district magistrate and Dehradun Smart City Limited (DSCL) chief executive officer Ashish Kumar Srivastava said this in an online interaction with The Pioneer on Tuesday.
Regarding the challenges faced in the district while tackling the Covid pandemic, Srivastava said, “It has been almost five and a half months since the first positive case was found in Dehradun on March 15. The challenge here is more since it is the Capital city visited by a large number of people. Later when the government started bringing back stranded citizens, Dehradun was one of the major hubs for transit of people to other districts. People were coming through all channels and were being sent to different parts of Uttarakhand from here. Amidst all this it is also vital to keep the morale of the team high to keep them working 24 x 7. We are still working round the clock. The situation in Dehradun has improved- earlier we were contributing about 50 per cent of the total cases of Uttarakhand which has now come down to about 21 per cent. However, this challenge gave us an opportunity to look into what is happening in Dehradun, strengthen the health system and train our team. Now our team is properly trained and experienced and I assure the people that we are fully trained and equipped to deal with the situation. We are trying our level best to get rid of this problem.”
Regarding the recent rise in positive cases and public apprehension about the treatment facilities he said that the trend of increasing cases in the past 10 days is because there are some institutions where counseling is underway for PG courses and armed forces personnel are arriving who are being tested. Dehradun is also the biggest tertiary health centre for people of Uttarakhand and neighbouring regions of Uttar Pradesh. Many people are visiting the hospitals in Dehradun and they are also being tested which is also why the numbers are rising. During March about 20 tests were being conducted per day but today there are seven to eight labs conducting tests and the number of daily Covid tests being conducted now is upto 1,600. Regarding treatment facilities, there is no dearth of space in the district. “I would like to tell the people that in case they have mild symptoms, they should visit the Covid care centres instead of insisting on seeking admission in hospital. The fatality rate in this disease is very low so nobody needs to panic. At the Covid care centres, the doctors conduct regular checks and send the ones they deem in need of hospital treatment to the hospital.” On the subject of some persons still not observing precautions like social distancing and wearing masks in public, the DM said that these rules have been made for the protection of the public. People should also understand that these steps are also necessary to prevent risk to the young and old family members apart from those suffering from comorbidities. Observing these precautions is vital to check the spread of the virus, he stressed.
Apart from the Covid scenario, the DM further said that there is a solution to the long standing problem of encroachment in Dehradun especially on the Rispana and Bindal riverbeds. “We are planning to shift and rehabilitate people encroaching on the riverbeds to homes built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The chief minister has also accorded top priority to the revival of Rispana and we are working on this. Under Namami Gange, a scheme has been approved, tenders have been done and work has started to address the issue of sewers draining into the Rispana and Bindal. Since this is not a problem created overnight, we are working to ensure a long term solution. Apart from this, we are also preparing a register of all government lands in the district to ascertain the extent of encroachment.”
As the CEO of DSCL, Srivastava said, “My long term priority is to see Dehradun as one of the most liveable cities in the country. We are working on various aspects including decongestion. We also want to uplift the face of the city. Most of the tourists coming here travel to Mussoorie but we want to elicit focus also on areas like Lakhamandal in Chakrata and Rishikesh in the district.”
Responding to concerns regarding the expected benefit of the smart city project on the city as a whole, he said that with the IT component the service delivery will definitely improve in the whole city. Further, with construction of smart roads, the frequent excavation of roads and other problems will also stop. Last year, the Government of India approved the externally aided smart road concept for the whole city. The major roads in the city will be developed as smart roads. The bank loan process for this work has been affected a bit by Covid but progress will be achieved soon. The people will have to face some inconvenience for about a year and a half but the administration has received full cooperation from the public so far and hopes to receive it in the future too. Regarding the issue of dwindling agricultural lands and open spaces in the city Srivastava stressed on adopting a harmonious view to ensure that both agriculture is sustained and living space for citizens is also facilitated.
Wednesday, 02 September 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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