Two applications have been filed before the Gujarat High Court seeking health care facilities and utilisation of MLA funds for providing necessary health and medical logistics for treatment of Covid-19 patients.
One application has been filed by the Vadgam (Gujarat) MLA and Convener at Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manchand, Jignesh Mevani and the other plea has been filed by President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, Amit Ajitbhai Chavda and Leader of the opposition, Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Pareshkumar Dhirajlal Dhanani along with 63 other Congress members, reported LiveLaw.
According to an Indian Express report, the total MLA fund amounts to 99 crores and the MLAs have sought the amount may be used for providing necessary healthcare facilities such as Remdesivir injection, ventilators for designated Covid-19 hospitals in the State.
Mevani’s application states that although Vadgam Constituency has primary health centres and community health centres, Covid treatment is not possible because adequate oxygen, ventilators and necessary medicines are not available. He has also contended that the area lacks private hospitals.
His plea reads, “If the funds meant for the applicant as an MLA are utilized towards setting up an oxygen plant with the help of competent and suitable agency, and if primary and community health centres are equipped with ventilators and other necessary medical logistics and equipment, besides the oxygen, the constituency of the applicant will have an effective corona hospital.”
Mevani’s application prays for direction to the State Government to set up an oxygen plant in the Vagdam constituency at a strategic location, provide ventilators and ensure other necessary drugs including Remdesivir and Tocilizumab Injections with the MLA Funds.
His prayer also reads, “In the alternative, allow the applicant to suggest a competent and suitable agency with the necessary experience to set up an oxygen plant and be further pleased to direct respondents and concerned District Administration to directly pay from the MLA funds meant for the applicant and ensure setting up of an oxygen plant within the stipulated period of time to cater to the needs of corona patients.”
Similarly, the Congress leadership, on behalf of its 65 MLAs, as per LiveLaw, have sought a direction from the court to utilise the entire amount of MLA Fund to the tune of Rs. 1.5 crores per constituency for the accounting year 2021-22 “for purchase of and setting up of health and medical infrastructure, equipment and other medical items.”
All 66 represented by Advocate Anand Yagnik submitted before the court that at present the State has permitted the usage of only Rs. 25 lakh of the total MLA funds which is “insufficient.”