Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday (May 11) urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to involve panchayats in the fight against COVID-19, saying the battle is going to be long.
Patnaik put forward the suggestion during a video conference Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with chief ministers of different states.
Emphasising on the need for adopting a “decentralized mechanism” to strengthen the process of containing the spread of the coronavirus, the Odisha chief minister said a smaller area instead of an entire district should be classified as a red, orange or green zone on the basis of the severity of the disease.
“A smaller and scientific unit can replace a district as a unit for zoning, and we should allow local administration to decide this area. As the fight is going to be long, it is important that we involve panchayats,” he said.
Advocating a greater role for local bodies in the battle against the coronavirus, the chief minister said the Union government may modify existing schemes to incentivise and actively involve Panchayati Raj institutions in COVID-19 management.
He also suggested that “broad principles” be evolved at the national level for enforcement of the lockdown and other regulations.
To revive economic activities, the Centre may come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP), Patnaik said.
“As our production lines are interlinked and so are our value addition processes cutting across state boundaries, a national SOP should be the guideline for rebooting the economy,” the chief minister said.
On resumption of train services, he said their movement should be regulated in consultation with the states concerned.