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Chhattisgarh enforces ESMA, as officials told to ensure ‘no one to sleep hungry’

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh government has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) for all health and related services, bringing all government and private hospitals under the essential services across the state.

Meanwhile, the chief secretary R P Mandal during the review meeting had directed the officials to ensure every needy person gets food and there shouldn’t be any langar (mass feeding) organised anywhere in the state.

“Ensure no one will sleep hungry. Foodgrains and essential daily needs should remain available to all residential locations in rural and urban areas. As per the directive of chief minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel all poor, labourers, beggars and other needy individuals should get food as and when required”, Mandal asserted.

A five-member state-level Disaster Management Committee of senior officials headed by the additional chief secretary (Home) has been constituted in Chhattisgarh. It comprises of secretary (food & transport) Kamalpreet Singh, secretary (health) Niharika Barik Singh, secretary (urban administration) Alarmelmangai D and DGP DM Awasthi (for law and order).

All district collectors and superintendents of police have been asked to ensure that there is no mass displacement and people should stay where they are even if they belong to other states. “Residents of Chhattisgarh staying in other states shouldn’t try to return and the state government will coordinate with the respective states for their essential needs and health concerns”, the chief secretary said.

The ration shops will remain open everywhere and there would be free distribution of food grains and other items for the beneficiaries. Instructions were given for facilitating smooth transport of vegetables, fruits medicines and food grains across the state.

The district authorities have been asked to enforce the implementation of guidelines and directives as set forth by the Centre for nationwide lockdown.