UP doles out blankets in midsummer

UP doles out blankets in midsummer

Govt announces scheme in winter; red tape delays implementation

They were supposed to be distributed at the beginning of last winter under a scheme meant for senior citizens to help them withstand biting cold in the backward region of Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh.

But as it usually happens with government schemes, this too got mired in red tape.
Now when the mercury is hovering around 48 degree Celsius in the arid and parched region, officials are geared to distribute the blankets, said sources.

The panchayati raj department, nodal agency for the scheme, has finalised the names of beneficiaries.

“The department plans to start the distribution from the first week of June,” said an official. According to the scheme, every individual, who is 65-year-old or above and falls below the poverty line, will be given a woollen blanket in four districts of Bundelkhand. The government had identified a little over 1.27 lakh beneficiaries.

Senior officials admitted that it was not the right time for blanket distribution. “We are trying to find out the reasons for the delay,” they said.

The officials probably expect the senior citizens use them in warding off the heat.
Barely a few days ago, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had warned the officials for not implementing the schemes on time. “Those responsible for the delay will be acted against,” he had said at a function.

BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said this reflected that the government had no control over the officials.

“It proves that the government is not serious about welfare scheme nor are the officials taking interest in their implementation,” he said.

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