Nation
Rahul says asked Natarajan only to protect environment, tribals

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that Natrajan, who quit the Congress recently, has been put up by PM Modi and his government to target the Congress party

 

Breaking his silence over Jayanthi Natarajan's allegations against him over green clearances, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his communication with the former minister was driven by his interest for the welfare of the poor and the adivasis.
 
"I want to tell you that I have fought for the poor and the adivasis and I had told Jayanthi Natarajan that we should look into the welfare of the environment, poor and the adivasis. I will continue to fight for the poor, the hutsmen and the weaker sections," the Congress vice-president said at a rally here.
 
He alleged that Natarajan, who quit the Congress recently, has been put up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to target the Congress party.
 
Rahul said that he joined politics to ensure welfare for the poor and the weaker sections of the society and not to benefit some businessmen as he attacked Modi, alleging that the PM was working only to benefit his "industrial friends".
 
Natarajan had last Saturday resigned from the primary membership of Congress alleging that she was "vilified" for rejecting green nod to industrial projects during her tenure as Environment Minister, which she said she had done following communications by the Congress vice-president.
 
She had also written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi a few months back alleging that she had received specific requests from Rahul on environmental clearances and consequently rejected big ticket projects, a contention she reaffirmed at the time of announcing her resignation.
 
Latching on to her remarks, BJP had launched a scathing attack on the Congress leadership accusing Rahul of interfering in the government work.
 

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Maharashtra plans to revamp ‘blood-on-call’, ambulance scheme

According to Health Minister Sawant the response for these schemes was not up to the government’s expectations and now they intend to strengthen the network of blood storage units in rural areas

 

Maharashtra Government is planning to revamp its blood-on-call scheme called as ‘Jeevan Amrut Yojana’ that is aimed at facilitating blood supply to patients scheduled to undergo surgeries and medical procedures in remote areas. In addition, the state government is also reviewing the 108 ambulance service scheme, launched by the previous government.
 
The Jeevan Amrut Yojana was launched last year, under which patients have to pay Rs450 towards the cost of blood and Rs50 to Rs100 as transportation cost depending on the distance, and request (for blood) is placed by the hospital concerned.
 
Upon receiving the call, the required blood and blood components will be transported on motorcycle to hospitals and nursing homes, in the specially fitted cold storage boxes.
 
The ambitious plan was said to be first-of-its-kind in the country.
 
Maharashtra Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant said the response for the scheme has not been on lines of government’s expectations and now they intend to strengthen the network of blood storage units in rural areas.
 
“Instead of transporting blood through motorcycles, we intend to strengthen network of blood storage units in rural areas. Accordingly, there should be one unit in the periphery of four primary health care centres. This would be more feasible,” he added.
 
The minister also said the 108 ambulance service scheme, launched by the previous government is also being reviewed.
 
The ambulance service was to facilitate transport of a patient to the nearest hospital within the first ‘golden’ hour of an emergency or a road accident, by dialling 108.
 
Sawant said there are 937 ambulances under the scheme, which has worked well.
 
“However, we plan to ensure its utilisation in areas where it is needed,” he said.
 
Sawant said his department has taken up the initiative of tracking pregnant women in tribal areas to ensure institutional deliveries in order to arrest maternal mortality deaths.
 
“Women will be counselled for safe deliveries. Last year in Amravati region, 300 pregnant women died,” he said.
 

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