Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

In a major policy decision, the Maharashtra Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday approved a Rs 125-crore road accident insurance scheme named after the late Shiv Sena founder-chief Bal Thackeray.The highlight of the scheme is that the state government will foot the tab for Rs 30,000 of the treatment cost in the initial 72 hours after the accident, covering 74 treatment modalities. This will free the victims of the burden of having to shell out money in the midst of a crisis.

This amount of Rs 30,000 will cover treatment in the intensive care unit and ward, fractures as well as in-hospital meals. However, the scheme will not cover industrial accidents, or accidents during daily work at home or train accidents.

Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the objective was to provide immediate medical services and financial assistance to road accident victims during the ‘golden hour’. The state government will provide subsidy to the State Health Guarantee Society for the implementation of the scheme and insurance companies will be selected in a prescribed manner.

The scheme will benefit people involved in road accidents in Maharashtra. All victims, regardless of state or country, will receive appropriate medical treatment.

The government envisaged the scheme, as on an average, 40,000 people are injured and 13,000 die in accidents on state highways and rural roads every year. ‘‘If they get treatment on time, their lives can be saved,’’ said Tope.

The government has also provided a toll-free number to register complaints with regard to the implementation of the scheme.

Mega recruitment in police force

At a time when corona infections in the state police force number 19,756 and there have been 202 fatalities, the state Cabinet has approved a mega-recruitment drive. A record 12,528 vacancies of police constables will be filled, opening up opportunities for youth.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said this is the first time in the last few years that the government has approved the recruitment of 12,528 police constables at one go. ‘‘The Cabinet has given a nod to relax the stay on fresh recruitment in various government departments due to financial stress in the notification issued on May 4, 2020. This has paved the way for filling the vacancies.’’ The Cabinet has directed the home department to initiate further action only after seeking the opinion of the departments of general administration and law and judiciary, especially in the wake of the recent interim stay granted by the Supreme Court on the Maratha reservation in education and jobs, he added.

Of the 12,528 posts, 5,297 are from 2019 and 6,726 in 2020. In addition, 505 of the newly created 975 posts will be for the recently created Mira-Bhayandar-Vasai-Virar Police Commissionerate, during the first phase.

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