Senior Odisha IAS Officer Removed From COVID-19 Equipment Purchase Job

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Bhubaneswar: Senior IAS officer Hemant Sharma has been relieved from supervision of procurement of all essential pharmaceutical goods and other required equipment to tackle COVID-19 in the state.

“His additional charge related to procurement of COVID-19 equipment has been rescinded,” a notification issued by General Administration and Public Grievance Department said.

Sharma is serving as Principal Secretary of Industries Department with additional charge of MSME Department.

The decision can be seen against the backdrop of the recent controversy over the Odisha government’s refusal to allow permission to unload PPE, masks and sanitiser from more than 20 trucks stranded at Odisha State Medical Corporation Ltd (OSMCL) godown, about a week ago.

The government later decide accept only PPE, which had arrived here by May 31.

“The deadline for mask and sanitiser was May 20. A few trucks loaded with materials have reached here after the cut off date and the excuses they give are not acceptable. We will also not accept any PPE consignment after May 31,” Managing Director of OSMCL Yamini Sarangi told a local newspaper.

According to reports, the OSMC had placed orders for procurement of 15.7 lakh PPE, 2.2 crore triple-layer masks, 7.5 lakh N95 masks and 1.7 crore nose clip adaptable masks besides other protective gears for healthcare workers.

The procurement committee initially decided to accept PPE till May 31  but later advanced the deadline to May 26.

Additional Chief Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department PK Mohapatra had then informed that that Odisha had enough stock of PPE kits and other protective gears and asked the suppliers to divert it to other states.

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