Maha announces contest, cash prize to promote steps to curb virus spread in villages

First three gram panchayats doing good work in Covid management will get first prize of Rs 50 lakh, second prize of Rs 25 lakh and third prize of Rs 15 lakh respectively

Sanjay JogUpdated: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 02:00 AM IST
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Days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s call for “My Village Corona Free”, the state government on Tuesday has announced a competition which aims to encourage steps to curb the spread of Covid-19 in rural areas of the state.

Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif on Wednesday said, “The "Corona free village" contest is part of the initiative announced by the chief minister.

He informed that the first three gram panchayats doing good work in Covid-19 management will get first prize of Rs 50 lakh, second prize of Rs 25 lakh and third prize of Rs 15 lakh respectively. In all 18 gram panchayats, three each in six revenue divisions will be awarded. The department has earmarked Rs 5.40 crore towards distribution of prizes.

The villages which win the contest will also get an additional amount equivalent to the prize money as encouragement, and it will be utilised for development works in those villages, the minister said.

The participating villages will be judged on 22 criteria, he said, adding that a committee will be set up to judge the villages.

Thackeray in a virtual address on Sunday lauded Ruturaj Deshmukh (21), the youngest sarpanch in Maharashtra, and his task force to keep their Ghatne village in Solapur district free of coronavirus.

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