Chandigarh, May 21, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked chief minister Bhagwant Mann to immediately reverse the retrograde decision to convert 1,600 Sewa Kendras established by the erstwhile SAD led government to provide 78 essential services to the people into Mohalla Clinics.
In a statement here, the SAD President said instead of re-starting all 2,100 Sewa Kendras instead of the limited 500 kept open by the previous Congress government, the AAP government was destroying a novel citizen centric scheme which had been even appreciated by the union government and gained recognition nationally and internationally.
“There is no need to convert the Sewa Kendras into Mohalla Clinics because the State already had 3,000 functional medical sub-centers and dispensaries in both rural and urban areas. “These sub centers can be expanded or better equipped if needed but it does not make any sense to do away with a scheme which uses modern technology to provide essential services to the people to house clinics which are already available in the State”.
Asking the chief minister to study the Punjab Model which came up with the Right to Service Act in 2011 to ensure provision of all essential services to citizens in a time bound manner, Mr Sukhbir Badal said this futuristic system, which was emulated by other States also, should not be jettisoned to ape a failed scheme of the Delhi government.
“We all know how the Mohalla Clinics failed miserably during the Covid pandemic in giving any relief to the people of Delhi. A large number of these clinics, which were opened with great fanfare and publicity worth crores, are non-functional. Copying the same scheme in Punjab will be disastrous and will take away investment which is needed in other core areas of health-care including the need of super specialty services”.
Asserting that AAP had come to power promising an end to corruption, Mr Badal said it was shocking that the government wanted to bury a scheme which had struck the biggest blow to corruption in the State.
He said the Sewa Kendras had not only stopped the harassment meted out to people in government offices but had eliminated corruption while seeking citizen services. He said the closure of 500 existing Sewa Kendras would also render 1,500 youth unemployed. “AAP has come to power on the promise of creating lakhs of jobs but instead is taking away existing jobs”.
Demanding that the Sewa Kendra scheme not only be re-started but even expanded, the SAD president said the chief minister should take the help of experts to understand the scheme. “The chief minister can also travel to other States to examine how the scheme has helped the common man.
Other countries are also using similar schemes to provide seamless services to their citizens without any government inter-face. The Punjab government, which was the first to start this service in the country, should not now allow politics and propaganda to deny this essential service to its citizens”, Mr Badal added.