The Maharashtra government has decided to take an unprecedented and interesting route to ensure compliance with all Covid-19 precautionary norms in villages.
The state has announced ‘corona-free village’ competitions, where three villages in each revenue district will be awarded prizes up to ₹50 lakh.
“Corona-free village competitions will be held in Maharashtra to encourage steps to curb the spread of Covid-19. Three village panchayats will be awarded for doing good work in Covid-19 management in each revenue division,” said state rural development minister Hasan Mushrif.
The first prize will be ₹50 lakh, second of ₹25 lakh and third of ₹15 lakh, the minister said.
There are six revenue divisions in the state, hence there will be a total of 18 prizes. The total prize money is ₹5.4 crore, he said.
The villages which win the contest will also get an additional amount equivalent to the prize money as encouragement. The money will be utilised for development works in those villages, the minister said.
The participating villages will be judged on 22 criteria, he said, adding that a committee will be set up to judge the villages.
He further informed that the contest is part of the ‘My Village Corona Free’ initiative recently announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Cases in Maharashtra
The state on Wednesday recorded 15,169 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 57,76,184. As many as 285 more people succumbed to the disease while Maharashtra also added 268 previously unreported fatalities to its total toll. pushing to 96,751.
As many as 29,270 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day. With this, the total number of recoveries has reached 54,60,589, a statement from the health department said.
The state now has 2,16,016 active cases, it said.
The Covid-19 recovery rate marginally increased to 94.54% from 94.28% a day ago, while the fatality rate is at 1.67%.
There are 16,87,643 people in home isolation and 7,418 in institutional quarantine across the state, the department said.