Aurangabad, April 5:
The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the city for the past year. From 60 index patients, it had treated around 40,000 infected patients, so far. Meanwhile, the civic body is direly waiting for funds from the district administration to continue its fight against the virus. Hence, the AMC has landed into Catch-22 situation over how to tackle the growing pandemic situation in the city as it had developed infrastructures for starting new Covid Care Centres (CCCs) and provided all facilities in it including the medicines to the patients.
It is learnt that the AMC has received around Rs 20 crore from the district administration. The AMC has to spend money on procuring antigen kits, RT-PCR test kits, medicines, PPE kits, provide meals to patients, purchase beds, bedsheets, oxygen cylinders, maintain 14 CCCs, Meltron Hospital, keep a vigil on patients undergoing treatment under home isolation, release payment of contractual health employees, starting new CCCs equip with fans, maintain the buildings etc. Besides, it has launched the vaccination drive, deployed health teams at railway stations, airport, government hospitals and city entry points for conducting testing of visitors. The AMC has to provide vehicles to them. The AMC in hope of getting fund from the district administration procured the above accessories and items from various companies. These suppliers are not been paid for the past six months. The AMC's expense is at least Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore per month.
For the past three months, the AMC has not received fund under Disaster Management from the district administration. The strength of patients is increasing. The ratio of death has also increased. The civic administration had appointed two agencies to perform the last rites. It has to pay money to them as well.
There is no money in AMC's exchequer. It is totally dependent upon the funds from the district administration. The civic administration announced of starting two jumbo CCCs in the Chikalthana MIDC area. It has to purchase 5,000 cots and other required accessories in them, but due to the absence of fund, it is unable to take further decision.
Two weeks ago, the AMC has decided to start CCCs in 31 function halls. Due to the dearth of money, it is unable to undertake repair and maintenance of these halls. The AMC had pressed its contractors for doing petty works, but for undertaking major works, the AMC is facing financial problems.
The municipal officer of health (MoH) Dr Neeta Padalkar said, " The figures of Covid-19 patients had increased in the city since March. The AMC has to go for contact tracing, give treatment to asymptomatic patients and perform other important works."
Presently there are 88,449 patients in the district. The number of active patients is 15,361 including 9,937 from the city.