Even as the central government on Thursday (March 26) announced a ₹1.70 lakh crore package for the poor to deal with the crisis arising out of the coronavirus lockdown, the Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand in a similar measure has decided to provide two months ration in advance to the beneficiaries of the public distribution system.
Around 90 per cent of the families in the state will benefit from this decision, he said.
“Rest assured, your son or brother is continuously making efforts to help the people of Jharkhand,” Soren said in a tweet on Wednesday.
He also appealed to the people to abide by the 21-day lockdown order to prevent the spread of the disease. Jharkhand has not reported any COVID-19 case so far. The state government had on Wednesday issued a rate- chart of essential items at the public distribution outlets, following reports that a few ration shops were charging higher prices for commodities and some others selling them in the black market, taking advantage of the lockdown. The government had also assured people that it has sufficient food items in stock to last for several days. Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray said the administration has launched an app – VeggiGo – for people to place order for essential commodities.
He said the administration has also launched a home delivery service for essential goods. Meanwhile, Jharkhand Finance, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Rameshwar Oraon asked officials concerned to speed up distribution of new ration cards and start providing food grains at the prescribed subsidised rate of ₹1 per kg.
In a release, Oraon also directed officials of his department to serve khichdi (cooked rice and lentils) under the existing Mukhya Mantri Daal-Bhat Yojana across the state and ensure the needy come with their own utensils and carry food home to avoid crowding. Soren had earlier in the week said that 350 khichdi centres would be opened in the state to serve the poor during the lockdown period.
The chief minister also thanked his Delhi counterpart, Arvind Kejriwal, for taking care of the meals of some migrant labourers hailing from Jharkhand. A total of 26 students from Telengana are in Jharkhands Sahibganj district on a study tour, Soren said, adding, the group is absolutely safe.
(With inputs from agencies)