COVID-19: Odisha ministers prefer to work from home

Bhubaneswar: With a total lockdown across Odisha to fight the spread of COVID-19, most of the ministers in the state are working from home.

In view of the lockdown, the state government has classified departments as critical, partially critical and non-critical.

“I am working from home. Only one staff has been assigned to bring files to me whenever required,” said Minister Pratap Jena, whose Housing and Urban Development department has been classified as critical.

The Panchayati Raj department, which Jena also heads, has been marked as partially critical.

He has sanctioned Rs 1 crore from the MLA-LAD funds for Nischintakoili block and Mahanga block in his Mahanga assembly constituency to fight COVID-19.

Departments like Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare, General Administration, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Family Welfare, Home, Special Relief Commissioner and Odisha State Disaster Management Authority have been classified as critical.

“I am managing my work over the phone. Even I do not allow my private secretary to come to my home at the critical moment. I am also looking after my constituency and discussing the allocation of MLA LAD funds,” said Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister for Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

Works Minister Prafulla Mallick said he is in his constituency to oversee several works and spread awareness about the coronavirus among the people.

The Works department is in the partially critical category of the state government.

Under the critical category, full departments are asked to attend the office.

In the partially critical category, the secretary of the department along with the key officials and staff as decided by the secretary will attend office.

The staff of non-critical departments have been asked not to attend office. However, they will be available at short notice, said a notification.


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