Shankar Lalwani With PM Narendra Modi. File Photo
Shankar Lalwani With PM Narendra Modi. File Photo

The rising graph of coronavirus cases in Indore has the Prime Minister’s office deeply worried because Indore is now among the top 10 of the 25,000 odd centres throughout the country affected by the coronavirus, said Indore MP Shankar Lalwani while talking to Free Press. Lalwani said looking at the gravity of the situation, around a dozen officials from the Prime Minister’s office is closely monitoring the situation.

What steps are the state and central governments taking to bring the city out from the grip of coronavirus?

In its fight against corona, the state government’s main focus is now Indore city. All necessary arrangements, be it medical kit, medicines or other support are being provided. Two senior officers, principal secretary health and family welfare department Mohammad Suleman and principal secretary industries Sanjay Shukla have been specially deputed and are in constant touch with me.

Around a dozen officers of the PMO are constantly monitoring every aspect and taking feedback from all the elected representatives. The PMO’s office is also helping in procuring all necessary medical and other supplies.

What steps have been taken for the hundreds of poor families who are mainly dependent on manual labour and are now jobless?

The food and civil supplies department is fulfilling all our demands and are constantly supplying rice and wheat for the poor and the other necessities are being provided at the local level. The BJP national president J P Nadda is also involved and under him the BJP workers are working on Ground Zero. In the rural areas, the Union agriculture minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, is ensuring that food is reaching the poor and is interacting with the local officials to sort out any issues that are cropping up.

What steps have been taken to restart the industries so that people can start earning?

We have already started several units – 200 in the city and 387 in the rural areas and we plan to restart the entire Pithampur industrial area, and 50,000 workers will return to work. We are giving permission to 1000 buses in which these workers and other staff will travel. We are also restarting the banks.

Farmers have faced major problems due to the pandemic, especially those growing vegetables and flowers. What relief is the state government providing them?

The state government is planning a special package for farmers which will be announced soon. We have also increased the number of procurement centres.

What are you personally doing from your MP’s Fund?

A sum of Rs 10 lakhs has been given for purchasing PPE kits and medicines and I have given Rs 1 crore to the PM’s Relief Fund. I am also donating my Rs 1 lakh salary to the PM’s fund. I am running 22 kitchens from where over 20,000 food packets are being distributed. Arrangements are also being made to give Atta, dal and sugar.

During the course of the interview MP Lalwani received a call from the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and according to Lalwani the CM wanted to know why the number of positive patients was increasing in Indore.

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Free Press Journal