It is expected that there should be Zero Tolerance for any sort of corruption whatsoever at all times but most of all during a pandemic like the one in which we currently find ourselves enveloped in.
Disaster Management Funds in particular need to be so judiciously accounted for and very discreetly audited. There should be no room for this COVID pandemic to be a blessing in disguise for the devious who like the proverbial dog’s tail will never straighten even at the height of this raging epidemic.
Besides the much debated issue of oxygen, there needs to be an investigation into who has been making a buck even on the meals supplied to in-house patients at the COVID Care centers. If inflated bills have been raised it is a cause for concern as public money is meant to be spent for the welfare of the public and not to be pocketed by those in power and authority.
An example at hand is where the Deputy Collector of Dharbandora Taluka who happens to be the son of ex-Block President of Curchorem BJP was selectively hand-picked to spearhead the role of looking after the Shiroda Covid Care Center though located in the jurisdiction of Ponda Taluka.
Though the day to day ground work of this Covid Centre was overlooked after by the Mamlatdar officials from Ponda, all the bills were surprisingly blindly countersigned by the Mamlatdar of Dharbandora without him having been on the field at Shiroda to ascertain the correctness and accuracy of those bills and the services that were factually rendered.
There needs to be a performance Audit besides a fiscal one into all the expenditure incurred during this pandemic to ensure that there has not been any mismanagement or pilferage of Covid funds by any thick skinned officials.
The treatment of Covid and all the measures to combat Covid must be people focused and not on self centered corrupt officials. Every paisa must be spent on ensuring that people are given an opportunity to live and to overcome the medical, financial and emotional ravages of this pandemic. Any abuse of such funds already in very short supply must not be tolerated. On the contrary it should be treated as a bigger scourge than the raging virus itself and must be eradicated.